King, Queen meet President Bush

March 04, 2008

(Royal Hashemite Court, Media & Communication Directorate - Washington) His Majesty King Abdullah II emphasised that achieving peace in the Middle East needs the engagement of parties in negotiations on clearly outlined bases and timeframes, adding that unilateral measures have failed to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. 

 King Abdullah stressed during talks today with US President George W. Bush at the White House that Israeli policies of siege and military force will deepen the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians and threaten to waste years of negotiations to achieve peace in the region.  The King said the peace to which Arabs aspire is based on restoring the Palestinian people's legitimate rights, foremost of which is the establishment of an independent state on Palestinian soil within a two-state solution. He added that the Arab Peace Initiative constitutes the basis for settling the Arab-Israeli conflict.  King Abdullah expressed appreciation for President Bush's commitment to work with the Palestinians and Israel to reach an agreement before the end of the year that addresses final status issues as agreed in the Annapolis conference.  The King and the US president discussed the efforts of US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who is on a tour of the Middle East. King Abdullah urged the US administration to intensify international support for the peace process.  The King emphasised the importance of supporting the Palestinian National Authority in its efforts to ease the difficult living conditions facing the Palestinian people, noting that improving the life of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip should be the key objective of all sides.  The two leaders also discussed Lebanon's political crisis and King Abdullah said Jordan supports the Arab League initiative to end the crisis.  They also addressed efforts to achieve national reconciliation in Iraq and to ensure the country's security, stability and sovereignty.  King Abdullah and President Bush discussed ways to strengthen bilateral ties, particularly in the economic field.  The King expressed appreciation for the president's efforts in that regard and for US assistance to Jordan that played a major role in supporting the national economy and strengthening development.  Following the meeting, President Bush and US First Lady Laura Bush hosted Their Majesties King Abdullah and Queen Rania for lunch.