Jordan king: Region needs 'Marshall Plan'

Jordan's King Abd Allah II has called for a programme for the Middle East modeled after the Marshall Plan, which is credited with saving postwar Europe from economic and political disarray.

    Abd Allah: Resolving Palestinian-Israeli conflict a priority

    In an address on Friday to business leaders, the king said he had approached US leaders about such a project before the September 11, 2001 attacks. He says the attacks and subsequent problems they triggered internationally make it all the more pertinent.

    "The plan is needed now more than ever, to give people hope and offer them an alternative to hate and division," he told 500 people at a hotel in downtown Chicago.

    "I'm talking about a Marshall Plan, as it were, for the recovery of the Middle East."
     
    Abd Allah did not say if Washington alone should take part in putting together such a plan, nor did he say how much it might cost.

    Resolving conflicts

    The four-year Marshall Plan cost $13 billion and helped rebuild Germany as well as 14 other war-damaged European nations after World War Two.
     
    Bringing stability to Iraq is crucial to any Middle East revival, but that it is secondary to resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, said Abd Allah.

    He accused terrorists of using the Palestinian issue to woo recruits.

    "If we solve the Israeli-Palestinian problem, 90% of the battle is over," he said.

    King Abd Allah was in the United States to attend the G8 economic summit in Georgia. Earlier Friday, he attended President Ronald Reagan's funeral in Washington, D.C.

    SOURCE: Unspecified


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