Jordan's Abdullah: Israel, Palestinians Will Achieve 'Genuine Security' Only Through Two-state Solution

'How many more children will die before the world wakes up?' Jordan's King Abdullah asked in a speech to the UN General Assembly ■ Saudi King Salman said Iran shouldn't obtain nuclear weapons

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A recording of Jordan's King Abdullah II delivering his remarks at the UN General Assembly in New York on Wednesday.
A recording of Jordan's King Abdullah II delivering his remarks at the UN General Assembly in New York on Wednesday. Credit: AP
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Jordan's King Abdullah said Israel and the Palestinians could achieve "genuine security" only "through the two-state solution, a solution that leads to the establishment of an independent, sovereign and viable Palestinian state on the basis of the 1967 lines with East Jerusalem as its capital."

"How many more children will die before the world wakes up?" Abdullah asked at the UN General Assembly on Wednesday in a pre-recorded speech.

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Iran's new foreign minister, Hossein Amirabdollahian, speaking at a press conference in Moscow when he was deputy foreign minister in 2012.Credit: Misha Japaridze,AP

"Global partnership is critical to resolving one of the longest-standing conflicts in modern history – the Palestinian-Israeli conflict," Abdullah added.

Referring to the recent round of fighting between Hamas and Israel in May, Abdullah said that "the bitter war on Gaza this past year was a reminder that the current situation is simply unsustainable. And the suffering we continue to see points us once more to the critical need to keep supporting UNRWA, as it continues to fulfil its UN mandate and provide vital humanitarian services to 5.7 million vulnerable Palestinian refugees," he said, referring to the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees.

European Union foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell speaks to the press in New York, on Monday.Credit: Brittainy Newman,AP

"But how many more homes will be lost? How many more children will die, before the world wakes up? Genuine security for either side – indeed, for the whole world – can only be achieved through the two-state solution," the Jordanian monarch said.

"A solution that leads to the establishment of an independent, sovereign, and viable Palestinian state on the basis of the June 1967 lines, with East Jerusalem as its capital, living side-by-side with Israel in peace and security," as Abdullah described it, "and Jerusalem is at the heart of this peace. Billions of people around the world hold this Holy City dear."

Speaking after Abdullah, Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz also addressed the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and regional stability.

"Peace is the strategic choice in the Middle East," Salman said in a pre-recorded statement.

He added that "a just solution" should be reached to the Palestinian issue that is based on the international community's decisions, as well as the Arab peace initiative, providing for an independent Palestinian state within the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital."

Touching on Iran, King Salman said that Saudi Arabia "hopes that initial talks with Iran would lead to actual trust-building steps." He stressed the importance of preserving the Middle East as a nuclear weapon-free zone, saying Saudi Arabia supports international efforts to prevent Iran from obtaining them.

Speaking to the General Assembly on Tuesday, President Biden said that the two-state solution is a 'long way' away for Israel and Palestinians. In his remarks at the gathering, the president reiterated the United States' unequivocal support for "an independent Jewish state," while emphasizing his belief that "a two-state solution is the best way to ensure Israel's future as a Jewish democratic state, living in peace alongside a viable, sovereign, and democratic Palestinian state.” 

“We are a long way from that goal at this moment, but we must never allow ourselves to give up on the possibility of progress,” Biden said.

On Tuesday, European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell met Iran's new foreign minister, Hossein Amirabdollahian, on the sidelines of the General Assembly session, the EU said in a statement. The meeting was scheduled in the absence of a ministerial meeting of the parties to the 2015 nuclear deal in New York at the annual UN gathering of world leaders.

"The Iranian Foreign Minister [gave assurances of a] willingness to resume negotiations at an early date," the EU said in a statement. "High Representative Borrell ... underlined once again the great importance of a quick resumption of the Vienna talks."

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian signaled on Monday that ministers from Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia would meet with Iran on the sidelines of the UN gathering to discuss a return to nuclear deal talks.

Later Monday, Borrell, who serves as coordinator for the nuclear deal, told reporters that this meeting would not take place. "Some years it happens, some years it doesn't happen. It's not in the agenda," he said.

American and Iranian leaders expressed a tentative desire to return to nuclear negotiations in addresses at the UN General Assembly on Tuesday.

In a wide-reaching first speech to the UN General Assembly as president, Joe Biden said that the U.S. must act to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon, but that the country is willing to return to "full compliance if Iran does the same."

Later Tuesday, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi told the General Assembly in a pre-recorded message that Tehran wants a resumption of nuclear talks with world powers to lead to the removal of U.S. sanctions. 

The world powers have held six rounds of indirect talks between the United States and Iran in Vienna to try and work out how both can return to compliance with the nuclear pact, which was abandoned by former President Donald Trump in 2018.

The Vienna talks were adjourned in June after hardliner Ebrahim Raisi was elected Iran's president and took office in August.

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