King Abdullah on Wednesday delivered an address to the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, covering a number of regional and international concerns.
Addressing parliamentary representatives of the European Union’s member states, King Abdullah stressed the importance of leadership, noting that leaders have a responsibility to safeguard their people’s long-term interests and welfare.
The King highlighted developments in the region and the world over the past decade. (See full text )
“The defining feature of the past decade has been people finding their voices. Millions across the world have poured into the streets, marched, occupied, sat down, sat in, tweeted, podcast, hashtagged what they want — loud and clear,” the King said.
Posing a number of hypothetical “what-if” questions to enable a better assessment of how to overcome obstacles in the region and around the world, The King warned of the consequences of failure to create the prospects and job opportunities that young Arabs need. “Can we afford to let the region’s young people live without hope?”
The King also underscored the need to ensure regional stability. “A more peaceful world is not possible without a stable Middle East. And a stable Middle East is not possible without peace between the Palestinians and the Israelis,” the King said.
The King warned that over 70 years of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict have played havoc with hopes for justice.
“What if Jerusalem, a city that is close to my heart personally and of great historic significance to my family, remains disputed?” the King asked.
The King also called for maintaining stability in Iraq, saying: “I, for one, will not abandon our brothers and sisters there.”
“Let this reflection upon ‘what-if’ scenarios be a productive exercise, one that can pre-empt countless tragedies and safeguard our people along their journey,” the King said.
Stressing that leadership demands reflection, wisdom, and the long view, The King said: “There is always a better and much more united version of us around every corner.”
“My father, the late King Hussein, taught me that peace making is always the harder but the higher path,” the King added, calling for working with Europe to “reach the future that both our peoples aspire for, and that they and our whole world deserve”.
Speaking after The King's speech, European Parliament President David Maria Sassoli described the King as a friend and partner for the European Union and the European Parliament.
Sassoli thanked The King for his patient approach towards peace through dialogue, and highlighted the need to work together in the days ahead, citing the recent developments at the start of the year.
This article has been adapted from its original source.
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