Jordan calls for Israeli W Bank pullout

Jordan's King Abdullah II has met Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in New York and called for Israel to pullout from the West Bank.

    Israel and Jordan are bound by a peace treaty since 1994

    "The Gaza withdrawal was a courageous plan that raised hope for achieving a just and lasting peace in the region," the king said during talks with Sharon on the sidelines of the UN summit in New York on Friday.
      
    It must be followed-up by "other withdrawals from the West Bank", he said.
      
    King Abdullah also insisted "on the need to continue to build trust between the Palestinians and the Israelis and to resume negotiations on final status issues", Jordan's state-run Petra news agency said. 

    Helping Palestinians
      

    "Jordan wants true, moderate, traditional Islam to replace fundamentalist, radical and militant Islam, everywhere in the world, for every single Muslim"

    Abdullah II,
    King of Jordan

    "All of us, including Israel, are concerned in helping the Palestinian Authority in its efforts to build institutions capable of providing better living conditions to the Palestinian people," he said.
      
    The Jordanian monarch reiterated calls for Palestinian statehood saying a "viable Palestinian state side by side with Israel will meet the aspirations of the Palestinian people and contribute towards security and stability in the region."
      
    Israel and Jordan, where almost half the population is of Palestinian origin, are bound by a peace treaty since 1994.

    Plea

    At the closing session of the world's largest summit, King Abdullah made an impassioned plea for zero tolerance towards those who promote Islamic extremism. 
      

    Abdullah urged zero tolerance 
    towards extremists

    "One critical step is to ensure zero tolerance toward those who promote extremism" he told the world body.
      
    "Jordan has worked with the international Muslim community to oppose extremist interpretations of Islam," he added.

    "Jordan wants true, moderate, traditional Islam to replace fundamentalist, radical and militant Islam, everywhere in the world, for every single Muslim."
      
    The monarch pointed to a key meeting of 180 scholars representing 45 countries in Amman last July that "exposes the illegitimacy of the extremist fatwas (religious edicts) justifying terrorism."
      
    The scholars at the meeting issued a ban on assassinations carried out in the name of Islam and urged respect for other opinions in the Muslim world. 

    SOURCE: AFP


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