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King renews support for anti-terror efforts

By JT - Sep 11,2014 - Last updated at Sep 11,2014

AMMAN — His Majesty King Abdullah on Wednesday voiced Jordan’s support for regional and international radicalism-combating efforts in consistency with its unaltered belief in the serious and direct threat the terrorist organisations pose to the region’s and world’s security and stability.

The Monarch made these remarks during a meeting with US Secretary of State John Kerry on Wednesday which came as a continuation of a summit he held with US President Barack Obama on the sidelines of the NATO summit that recently concluded in Wales, according to a Royal Court statement.

Discussions also covered the latest regional developments with focus on Gaza rebuilding efforts, the peace process and the situation in Syria and Iraq, the statement said.

His Majesty stressed the centrality of the Palestinian cause in the region, noting that the US can play a leading role and work as soon as possible to create conducive circumstances to relaunch Palestinian-Israeli negotiations that address final status issues, based on the two-state solution, the Arab Peace Initiative and relevant international accords.

The King added that efforts must be directed towards rebuilding what has been destroyed in the Israeli aggression on Gaza, stressing that Jordan will continue to provide all the needed support and relief and medical aid to the Palestinian people.

Kerry outlined the US vision to rebuild Gaza and the US administration’s efforts to achieve peace in the region, in addition to the developments in Iraq and Syria. 

He also reviewed the efforts led by the US both regionally and internationally to fight terror groups and extremists, expressing appreciation for Jordan’s efforts to bring peace, security and stability to the region and the world.  

Earlier in the day, Kerry visited Baghdad where he endorsed Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al Abadi’s plans to mend the central government’s relations with Sunnis and Kurds, and said Iraq was a partner in the fight against the Islamic State (IS) militants, Reuters reported.

“We all have an interest in supporting the new government of Iraq,” he said.

“The coalition that is at the heart of our global strategy I assure you will continue to grow and deepen in the days ahead ... because the United States and the world will simply not stand by to watch as ISIL’s evil spreads,” he said, using an alternative acronym for Islamic State.

“A new and inclusive Iraqi government has to be the engine of our global strategy against ISIL. Now the Iraqi parliament has approved a new Cabinet with new leaders, with representation from all Iraqi communities, it’s full steam ahead.”

Kerry told Abadi he was encouraged by his plans for “reconstituting” the military and his commitment to political reforms reaching out to all of Iraq’s religious and ethnic communities.

Abadi formed his government on Monday in what was billed as a break from the more abrasive style of his predecessor Nouri Al Maliki, whose policies were blamed by many Iraqis for fuelling sectarianism and pushing the country to the brink of collapse.

IS fighters seized large chunks of Iraq’s north and west this year, welcomed by many of the Sunni Muslim minority, who blamed the government for targeting them with indiscriminate arrests and discriminatory policies.

Abadi appealed to the international community to help Iraq fight IS, urging them “to act immediately to stop the spread of this cancer”.

Abadi faces multiple crises, from the need to convince the Sunnis they should stand with Baghdad against IS to persuading minority Kurds not to break away and convincing his own majority Shiites he can protect them from Sunni hardliners.

Kerry highlighted Abadi’s readiness “to move forward rapidly on the oil agreements necessary for the Kurds, [and] on the representation of Sunnis in government”.

In a sign of the eagerness among Iraq’s political elite for a fresh start, new Parliament Speaker Selim Al Jubouri, a Sunni, told Kerry: “We are... hopeful that we will be able to defeat terrorist organisations and establish democracy in Iraq.”

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