Jordan’s King Abdullah has stated in an interview with the Washington Post that he is pessimistic that there will be progress on Israeli Palestinian peace talks in 2011. Speaking to the Washington Post, US alley in the region and leader of one of only two states to sign a peace treaty with Israel, King Abdullah of Jordan said he was more pessimistic then he had ever been in 11 years about prospects for peace in the Middle East.
Abdullah referred to the increasing conservative and hawkish nature of Israeli society and government, citing Israeli opinion polls, as obstacles to peace talks within the year. Israeli society, were ‘beginning to believe the rhetoric of their leaders,’ he said.
Citing the recent uprisings in the Middle East, which he welcomed, Abdullah warned Israel that the situation in the region was rapidly changing fast. ‘The window will soon close,’ he warned, ‘and Israel will inevitably find itself surrounded by increasingly hostile Arab governments as politicians in newly democratic states seek to exploit popular resentments”.
The warning came as Egyptian party al-Karama party has said that if it achieved power in upcoming elections would rescind Egypt’s peace treaty with Israel, signed by ousted dictator Hosni Mubarak in 1979. Recent opinion polls have shown that a majority of Egyptians are in favor of rescinding the treaty.
Abdullah’s comments came as Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu gave an interview with Haaretz in which he claimed the conflict was “unsolvable”. ‘This is an insoluble conflict because it’s not about territory. It is not that you can give up a kilometer more and solve it. The root of the conflict is in an entirely different place” he said.
Israeli opposition leader slammed the comments and stated that Netanyahu had for once “dropped his pose” and shown his true position regards the conflict.
The US and Europe has stepped up efforts to renew peace talks in recent days in an effort to avoid Palestinian leaders making an application for statehood in the UN in September. France has offered to hold peace talks in Paris in June. US peace negotiators Dennis Ross and David Hale’s returned to the region for the first time since the resignation of US Special Envoy to the Middle East, George Mitchell, this year, according to Haaretz.