King Abdullah urges Bush to rescue situation
- Jordan Times
August 1, 2001
King urges US to end deteriorating situation in occupied territories
By Saad G. Hattar
AMMAN � His Majesty King Abdullah called on US President George Bush to
�move swiftly towards curbing the deteriorating situation in the Palestinian
territories,� just before he held talks here with Palestinian leader Yasser
Arafat, a Palace source said on Tuesday.
King Abdullah's call came in a telephone conversation with the US president
amid a crucial upsurge in the 10-month-old confrontation between Israel and
�The King underscored the need for immediate action to contain the volatile
situation in the Palestinian territories which reached a very crucial
stage,� added the sources.
Bush and King Abdullah, speaking in his capacity as head of the Arab
summit's rotating presidency, �agreed that the Mitchell report could form a
viable means towards curbing the crisis and restoring calm ahead of resuming
peace negotiations,� the source said.
The King, he added, stressed the �importance of implementing bilateral
agreements and executing the Mitchell recommendations as well as (CIA
Director George) Tenet's paper as basic steps to avoid further
The Tenet paper and the Mitchell report, named after former US Senator
George Mitchell, provided for the restoration of calm and
confidence-building measures in order to resume political dialogue.
Both Israel and the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) trade accusations
that the other party is responsible for the continuing cycle of violence.
The Palace source cited the King as reiterating to Bush �the unified Arab
stand on peace-making which should restore the rights to their legitimate
owners (the Palestinians) on the basis of international legitimacy.�
His Majesty underlined the need for �a continuing US active involvement in
efforts exerted to overpass the current crisis,� added the source.
Following the telephone call with Bush, King Abdullah held talks with Arafat
at his Beit Al Baraka residence.
The King briefed Arafat on his telephone call with the US president and
discussed �Arab and international efforts that could be undertaken to
protect the brotherly Palestinian people and end the attacks targeting
The meeting was attended by Chief of the Royal Court Fayez Tarawneh, acting
Prime Minister and Interior Minister Awad Khleifat, Foreign Minister Abdul
Ilah Khatib and head of the General Intelligence Department General Saad
Arafat, who arrived from Saudi Arabia, later flew to Alexandria for talks
with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. It was his fourth visit to Amman in
less than a month.
Palestinian diplomats in Amman said Arafat was on his second stage of a
regional tour designed to muster support for convening an extraordinary Arab
summit on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
He had cut short his first stage last week in Gulf Arab states in the wake
of successive Israeli pounding of Palestinian territories.
As he landed in Amman, Israeli occupation forces killed six members of the
Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) with a strike on their offices in the
West Bank town of Nablus.
Two young boys also died in the blast, and in the Gaza Strip two more
Palestinians, a policeman and a member of the Islamic Jihad resistance
group, were killed.
On Monday Arafat was in Tunis, where he said his plan for an emergency Arab
summit on the Middle East situation was �warmly received� by Tunisian
President Zine Al Abidine Ben Ali.
Arafat will go on to Italy on Wednesday to begin a two-day visit which will
include meetings with Italian leaders and Pope John Paul II.
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