Jordan's King Abdullah II said he doubted a Palestinian-Israeli peace deal will be clinched by January 20 when President George W. Bush leaves office, in an interview published on Saturday in Spain's El Pais daily.
"For the first time I view myself as pessimistic. And I believe I am one of the most optimistic leaders in the Middle East," said the monarch. "The success of the peace process will depend on whether there are successful advances between Israelis and Palestinians when the next US administration takes over," he said.
"If we manage nothing by the end of the year, given the uncertainty between Israel and Palestine, there will be no future for the peace process," the Jordanian kingsaid, underlining that this prospect "scared everybody".
Abdullah said "Israel must decide if it wants to be a fortress or involve itself in the Muslim and Arab world."