King Abdullah II of Jordan appealed Saturday to the world community to act on its commitments by delivering justice to the Palestinian people and helping them win their freedom.
"We demand that the international community fulfil its duty and put an end to the suffering and injustice being inflicted on the Palestinian people," the king said in a televised speech to the nation at the opening of parliament.
And it should "enable them to realize their freedom and independence on their national soil," he added in his second speech from the throne since his father's death in February 1999.
"The acts of killing and destruction to which the Palestinian people are being subjected are acts that all international and humanitarian laws and regulations condemn," Abdullah said.
"We salute the struggle of the Palestinian people and pray to Allah to bless their heroic martyrs," the king said.
"We in Jordan, within the framework of Arab consensus, are committed to the peace process (...) to achieve a just, lasting and comprehensive peace that will restore the occupied land to its legitimate owners," he said.
The Arabs are increasingly accusing the United States, the principal mediator in the peace process, of bias toward Israel, and are asking the world community, particularly the United Nations, to correct the balance.
"My government will continue its efforts to advance the peace process towards achieving the required progress on all fronts," he added.
"It will continue to support our Palestinian brethren and provide them with whatever assistance they need to regain their rights and build their independent state on their national soil, with Jerusalem as its capital.
He promised not to "waver" in helping Syria and Lebanon recover their rights and their territory occupied by Israel.
Peace negotiations have so far failed to produce a deal in which Israel returns to Syria the Golan Heights, which it captured in the 1967 war.
"We reiterate our commitment to the unity and the territorial integrity of Iraq," he said.
"My government will also exert its efforts in cooperation with Arab countries and the international community to put an end to the suffering of this Arab country," he said.
US and British warplanes impose bans on Iraqi flights on the north and south of the country, and are the main powers enforcing 10 years of economic sanctions on Iraq.
"Our priority is the achievement of comprehensive development. We will do this by improving the performance of our economy and modernizing the institutions of the state (...) and fight corruption," he said.
"We emphasize that human rights and freedom, human dignity, security and stability are interconnected elements for building a strong Jordan," he said.
He also promised to develop the media sector "within a framework of respect for freedom."
Abdullah stood tough on national unity.
"We believe it is sacred. It is a red line that we will not allow anybody to cross in anyway or form" -- AMMAN (AFP)
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)