Jordan's King Abdullah II announced in New York Wednesday plans for a November conference in Jordan on boosting peace in the Middle East through tourism.
"Our region is entering a new millennium, ready to face the challenges of peace," the king told a press conference. "Other regions in the world testify to how tourism can promote peace and stability. In fact it is a two-way street, for without peace and stability there wouldn't be tourism."
Adopting rhetoric made popular since the pope's Middle East pilgrimage in April, the king called Jordan a "holy land" that serves as "a model in its peacemaking and its peace-building".
He said hosting the November conference builds on the legacy of his late father King Hussein, architect of Israeli-Jordanian rapprochement.
"What better way to cherish (Hussein's) memory, and the memory of peacemakers in that area, than invite leaders of the world travel industry to congregate in the holy land of peace and discuss how to promote co-existence, tolerance and acceptance of each other through tourism," he said.
King Abdullah is on a two-week foreign tour that began on May 25 and included a two-day stop in Iceland before his arrival in the United States -- NEW YORK (AFP)
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