King Abdullah II of Jordan on Friday opened the World Economic Forum on the Middle East by calling on Israel to join Arab states in committing to a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He emphasized the Arab Peace Initiative as the best way to move forward: “Negotiated settlement, that will finally end the Palestinian-Israeli conflict on the basis of the two-state solution, which meets the legitimate right of the Palestinians to freedom and statehood and offers Israel the security guarantees and normal relations it needs,” he told over 1,400 regional and world leaders gathered at the Dead Sea for the three-day meeting.
“We have committed. So, now, must Israel. The Arab Peace Initiative has offered Israel a place in the neighbourhood and more: acceptance by 57 nations, the one-third of the UN members that do not recognize Israel. This is true security – security that barriers and armed forces cannot bring,” the King said. He urged leaders to work together to find answers to the economic crisis that has impacted the region. “Answers that not simply help our countries get through the global economic downturn, but ensure the region emerges as a powerhouse: the go-to place for opportunity and wealth-building and a determining factor in reshaping the global economy,” the monarch said.