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Friday, March 14, 2003

Queen Rania talk to Good Morning America about the conflict in the Middle East

The prospect of war has put many US allies in a tricky position, Jordan, chief among them. During the last Gulf War, King Hussein didn't side with the United States. His son, King Abdullah, has made a different decision allowing thousands of US troops along the border. But it's a delicate situation, and the King isn't talking in public. Still, we convinced the Queen to sit down with us for a wide ranging interview.
 
One of the first reminders this is no ordinary queen, she drives herself around town.
 
video clip of Queen Rania
 
And then, there's the fact that her Majesty doesn't shy away from blunt talk on the brink of war.
 
Do Jordanians feel that their good friend, the United States, is putting them in a particularly difficult position right now?
 
QUEEN RANIA: I think the Jordanian people are trying to figure out where the United States is coming from. I do feel that there maybe is not enough communication taking place. And that is, that is always a dangerous situation. I feel on the international scene there hasn't been enough investment in, diplomacy. And the longer we wait the, more hardening there is of the positions and the more difficult it is to bridge the gap.
 
Is there much anti-Americanism here right now?
 
 QUEEN RANIA: There is a degree of anti-Americanism, and that is something that really worries me, because I feel, you know, the American people might be getting a bad rap when they don't deserve it. I know the, I know that the American people are peace loving people, that they and God fearing. That, that they really try to do the right thing.
 
(Voice Over) This is what the economically strained nation fears most about another war, refugees. A million and a half Iraqis poured into Jordan during the last Gulf War. Eighty eight percent of Jordanians are anti-war. But the King has already let thousands of US troops into the country to prepare for war.
 
Your husband is, is tacitly giving the United States some support. Does that put him in a difficult position with the Jordanian people who oppose a war?
 
QUEEN RANIA: The leadership has been very clear with the people as to why there is presence, and that is primarily to protect Jordan and not for offensive reasons.
 
(Off Camera) What do you fear most for Jordan in terms of a war?
 
QUEEN RANIA: If, if there is a war and the war is won, are we going to be able to secure the peace? Because that's going to affect the entire region. We're also worried about the, the, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Most of the, the main grievance in, in our part of the world is a result of that conflict.

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