‘Moscow is key’ for a political solution in Syria: Jordan’s King Abdullah

Published November 11th, 2015 - 10:00 GMT

Russia is best positioned to bring a resolution to the war in Syria, Jordan’s King Abdullah II bin Al-Hussein has told Euronews.

In an exclusive interview in Amman, the King urged all sides to cooperate in the face of what he described as a “third world war.”

“For a political solution in Syria, Moscow is key. They are the ones that can give the guarantees to the regime that they have a stake in the future,” he told Isabelle Kumar in an interview for Global Conversation.

Jordan has taken in more than a million refugees fleeing fighting between forces loyal to Syria’s president Bashar al Assad, ISIS [Daesh] and other groups. Refugees now make up around a fifth of the population, putting a strain on heath and education systems and costing the country around $3 billion a year.

The arrival of refugees in Europe has given impetus to address a crisis that has been felt by Syria’s neighbours for more than 4 years and King Abdullah urged European leaders and Moscow to take the opportunity to set aside their differences.

Below is an extract from the interview which will air on Wednesday 11th November at 8:45 CET

Isabelle Kumar, Euronews: “You mentioned that Syrians are leaving, going over to Europe as conditions deteriorate here. We are also hearing that some Syrians are choosing to return to Syria because they are losing hope. Do you get concerned sometimes that despite everything you have done, you might end up on the wrong side of history when it comes to this crisis?”

Abdullah II bin Al-Hussein: “I think the issue of refugees arriving on the shores of Europe has been a wake-up call for all of us that we have to have better coordination. If we take one step back, what we have been talking about up until this point is, obviously, about this global war against terror. Europe is suffering from foreign fighters. This is an issue that we have been calling for, for the past two years. This is, in my view, a global war, a third world war by other means. Getting our act together in Syria allows us a building block to be able to deal with this from a holistic approach. So we have to come together and help each other on this issue. And as we talk about the Russian involvement in this, there is an opportunity.”

Euronews: “Previously, the US has held a lot of weight in this region. You have just mentioned Russia. Do you see Russia as a bigger key player now in this region?”

Abdullah: “I have always said, for the past five or six years, that for a political solution in Syria, Moscow is key. They are the ones that can give the guarantees to the regime that they have a stake in the future. And I still believe that is the fact — that the Russians are on the ground in Syria today is a reality that we all have to deal with. As I said, if the Europeans are dealing with a major concern of foreign fighters, that is doubly so for Russia. They have a major problem with foreign fighters also, so they need to deal with the threat of ISIS or Daesh themselves.”

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