Manama: King Abdullah of Jordan on Saturday warned that there will be no stability in the Gulf and Middle East unless there is a solution for the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
"Our region will not enjoy security and stability unless we solve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, and Arabs, Muslims and Israelis find peace," King Abdullah said in Manama. "We are committed. The Arab Peace Initiative offers more than just an end of conflict … It offers a lasting peace, that will allow Israel to have normal relations with 57 Arab and Muslim countries, and will free our region from the threat of war and conflict," the king told the opening session of the Manama Dialogue.
However, the Jordanian monarch said that the peace offer may not always be available.
"This opportunity cannot last forever. Geographic and demographic changes are threatening the essence of the initiative: a two state solution, which will guarantee the Palestinians the freedom and statehood they have long been denied, and will ensure for Israel the security it seeks," he said at the annual security conference.
With chances for hope dwindling, the future could be bleak, he said.
"The stakes are high. As a solution continues to elude us, faith in negotiations, as the only path to peace and justice, is eroding. And if hope is killed, radical forces will prevail. The region will sink into more vicious warfare and instability … threatening security far beyond the borders of the Middle East," he said.
According to King Abdullah, the current status of the crucial Palestinian-Israeli talks does not herald a bright future.
"The talks hit a major deadlock even before they got to address the substantive issues. Israel would not extend the moratorium on settlement [colony] buildings … And the Palestinians could not remain engaged in negotiations, while new settlements [colonies] were changing facts on the ground, and compromising the viability of the future Palestinian state," he said.
According to the ruler whose country had signed a peace treaty with Israel, parties involved have to be sufficiently brave to commit themselves to solutions.
"We need will, we need commitment, and we need courage to make hard decisions. The building of settlements [colonies] has to stop, and the parties must sit around the negotiation table … To discuss territories … borders … security … refugees … [occupied] Jerusalem, and other final status issues. Only through such serious negotiations, will we get to the end game: An independent and viable Palestinian state, living side by side a secure Israel, that is accepted and accepting, in a region of peace," he said.
Failure to achieve peace means that new conflicts that will reverberate far beyond the borders of the Middle East, he warned.
"The conflicts will threaten the strategic national interests of the United States, Europe and the rest of us in the international community. The world has already been dragged into regional conflicts, and it will certainly be involved in new confrontations, that will erupt in this environment of frustration and tension," he said.