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King calls for seizing opportunity to end Mideast peace stalemate

By JT - Feb 19,2013 - Last updated at Feb 19,2013

AMMAN — His Majesty King Abdullah on Tuesday stressed the need to seize the opportunity to end the stalemate in the Middle East peace process before “it is too late”.

During talks in Moscow with Russian President Vladimir Putin, the King called for reaching a solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict on the basis of the two-state formula, a Royal Court statement said.

His Majesty and Putin discussed the situation in Jerusalem and Jordan’s efforts to safeguard the Islamic and Christian sites in the holy city.

The two leaders also discussed efforts to ensure the establishment of an independent Palestinian state living in peace and harmony, side by side with Israel.

On the situation in Syria, they stressed the importance of finding an inclusive political solution to the crisis that guarantees Syria’s unity and territorial integrity, alleviating the suffering of its people.

The King pointed to the consequences of the crisis on the security and stability of the entire region, especially the neighbouring countries that host the largest number of Syrian refugees.

He called on the international community to intensify its support for the Kingdom and other hosts to help them continue their humanitarian aid, the statement said.

The Monarch and Putin expressed keenness on maintaining coordination and consultations on all regional issues and in a manner that serves their countries’ common interests.

The two leaders voiced keenness on bolstering Jordanian-Russian relations in economy, trade, investment, transportation, religious tourism and infrastructure.

Talks also tackled the transformations in the Arab region brought on by the Arab Spring, which the King said constituted a chance for Jordan to move steadily with its comprehensive reform drive.

His Majesty noted that the recently held parliamentary elections have been an integral part of the evolutionary reform process that is based on pluralism and as much as possible of consensus, with parliamentary governments being its ultimate goal, the statement said.

In a statement to the press before the meeting, His Majesty and Putin stressed the deep relations between the two countries, and said they were satisfied with the level of the “profound and historic” ties between Jordan and Russia.

His Majesty cited Putin’s visit last year to the Kingdom and the inauguration of the Russian Pilgrimage House as a sign of the positive relations.

The King said he was looking forward to discussing chances to enhance economic cooperation.

He noted that the ties between Jordan and Russia are currently “the strongest ever”.

For his part, Putin welcomed His Majesty’s comments, stressing that relations between the two countries are witnessing increasing success and development.

He thanked Jordan again for allocating a plot of land at the Baptism Site for the Russian Pilgrimage House.

Putin praised the depth of the educational cultural relations between the two countries, pointing out that there are 600 Jordanians studying at Russian universities.

Royal Court Chief Fayez Tarawneh, Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh, Director of the King’s Office Imad Fakhoury, His Majesty’s Consultant Abdullah Wreikat, General Intelligence Department Director Lt. Gen. Faisal Shobaki, Jordan’s Ambassador to Russia Ahmad Al Hasan and a number of senior Russian officials attended Tuesday’s meeting.

The Russian president held a dinner banquet in honour of His Majesty and the accompanying delegation. 

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