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King Abdullah Calls for U.S. Help with Mideast Peace Plan

Jordan's King Abdullah told Congress Wednesday that the United States must take the lead in cementing peace between Israel and the Palestinians. Abdullah talks to Jim Lehrer about the need for a two-state solution.

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    Jordan's King Abdullah is bringing a message to Washington: Time is running out to make peace in the Middle East. He's delivered it to the administration in the past few days, and today to Congress. Yesterday, the king talked with Jim Lehrer.


    Your majesty, welcome.

  • KING ABDULLAH, Jordan:

    Thank you.


    You believe, do you not, that the Palestinian issue remains the single most important problem in the Middle East?


    It is the core issue. And I think the difficulty that we have when we come to the states is that a lot of people that say it's not, that Iraq may be the other challenges.

    But historically, it has been the most emotional issue throughout the Middle East, but also, you know, further afield. And if we don't solve this, it's much more difficult to be able to tackle issues of Lebanon, and Iraq, and Syria, or even Iran.


    Why is the Palestinian thing so much at the core of everything else?


    Well, because it's perceived as one of the greatest injustices of the past several decades. And, again, you're talking about Arabs; you're talking about Muslims. You hear this in Europe; you hear this in Asia.

    And it is unfortunately the recruiting ground for terrorists. Extremists use this as a platform to get the disgruntled, to get the frustrated. And it is sort of a sore that has festered for so many decades and will continue to do so unless we find a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian problem.