Jordanian king, Abbas say Israeli settlements "major obstacle to peace" 2009-09-20 16:03:44   Print

    AMMAN, Sept. 20 (Xinhua) -- King Abdullah II of Jordan and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas cautioned that not seizing the opportunity at hand to bring about peace threatens the security and stability of the whole region.

    They urged the international community on Saturday evening to prevent Israel from rendering efforts to attain Mideast peace and end the decade-long conflict, emphasizing that the continuation of establishing settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories hinders any desired progress in peace efforts, according to a statement released by the Royal Court Saturday.

    The two sides, who called on the US to play a major role in jumpstarting Palestinian-Israeli peace talks, reviewed developments in light of a visit by US Mideast peace envoy George Mitchell to the region.

    Mitchell, who ended his visit to the region that covered Israel, Egypt, Jordan and the Palestinian territories on Friday, failed to reach an agreement with hawkish Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to freeze settlements expansion, a repeated demand by the US and a Palestinian conditions for future peace talks.

    Mitchell's failure, observers believe, shattered hopes of holding a meeting between Netanyahu, Abbas and US President Barack Obama on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly meetings later this month in New York.

    At the meeting with Abbas Saturday, King Abdullah urged Arab and international support to the Palestinian Authority and Abbas in pursuit to realize the rights of the Palestinians to statehood and independence through negotiations based on the Arab peace overture.

    Adopted by the Arab leaders in Beirut in 2002, the peace initiative offers for full peace and normal relations between Israel and all the Arab states in return for Israel's withdrawal from territories it occupied after June 4th 1967 war.

    It also offers an agreed solution to the issue of Palestinian refugees and the creation of a Palestinian state.

Special Report: Palestine-Israel Conflicts         


Editor: Anne Tang
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