His Majestyt reaffirmed that stability
in the Middle East can be achieved only by focusing on the
key problem in the region which is represented in consistent
denial of the Palestinian rights. He reiterated that the
solution is there through partnership and trust where security
and justice as agenuine need , could be achieved.
Following is the full text of the King's
Bismillah ar-Rahman ar-Rahim;
Distinguished Members of Parliament:
I am honoured to speak before this historic
institution. The Netherlands has been a leader in the cause
of partnership among nations … a long and true supporter
of peace in my region … and a valued friend to Jordan.
The renowned Dutch scholar, Erasmus, began his treatise
on peace with the words “Peace Talks.” For so
many years, the voice of Peace has been your country’s
voice. We hear it, and we thank you.
We meet here at a time of serious –
and shared – challenges: Achieving economic opportunity
and security, in an era of global competition. Strengthening
the bonds among people and cultures. Finding the path to
peace out of bitter conflicts, and reconstructing shattered
nations. And perhaps most importantly, giving youth the
future of hope that they need and deserve.
Separated and divided, we cannot meet
these challenges. Working together, we can. Because, just
as no nation is isolated from the world’s problems
… so, too, every nation has a contribution to make
to progress and peace.
The fact is, there is no single template
for the way forward: no one correct political formula; one
global culture, one road to development. A unilateral peace
is no peace at all. From the neighborhood to the world stage,
the future depends on cooperation. That means building on
the strengths we all contribute: our unique cultures and
heritage; our models of excellence; our assistance to those
in need; and above all – our mutual respect.
Such partnership is at the heart of recent
global efforts to bridge cultural divides, especially between
Muslims and non-Muslims. We have seen how fast misunderstandings
travel and the damage they can do. We need to move just
as firmly to prevent such crises before they occur.
The reality is that the vast majority
on both sides are people of good will. There are powerful
bonds among Islam, Christianity, and Judaism. And we hold
deep values in common: tolerance; respect for others; responsibility
for those in need; good citizenship; and the primacy of
More – much more – needs to
be done to build understanding. I am proud that the Hashemite
Kingdom of Jordan, a Muslim country, has taken a leading
role. We are home to a historic Christian community, and
have a long tradition of respect for all. Globally, we have
worked to build an active interfaith dialogue. We work closely
with Muslims everywhere to assert Islam’s true teachings,
commanding peaceful co-existence and respect for others,
and condemning extremism and terrorism. And we are continuing
to get our message out. International gatherings of Muslim
scholars have unanimously declared the invalidity of extremist
fatwas that violate Islamic precepts and justify violence.
The path to tolerance and respect is not
for Muslims alone. All nations and peoples must play a role.
That means speaking out against stereotypes and disrespect
at every level – and demonstrating that commitment
in action. Most important, my friends – Let us, together,
teach and help our young people to shape a new future: respecting
differences … but understanding our common humanity.
Partnership is also at the core of global
economic development. Our century is one of great economic
advances – and tremendous potential. But there is
an urgent need to expand the sphere of opportunity and prosperity.
Global wealth disparities, and the lack of economic security
and hope, are serious dangers. We must all respond. A fair,
strong, and inclusive global economy is not just an idealistic
goal – it is critical to the stability and prosperity
of the entire world.
My country’s own development strategy
has focused on reforms that will help our people compete
in a world marketplace. We are improving education …
streamlining and decentralizing development … strengthening
the job-creating private sector … and encouraging
export-oriented investment. Our efforts have had measurable,
positive results, including strong productivity and GDP
growth, and declining budget deficits and public debt.
In fact, Jordan is one of the key, lower-middle
income countries that are leading the developing world in
reform success. To ensure this progress and to keep it going,
I recently convened a new group of lower-middle income countries,
which we call the G-11. We are working to mobilize global
recognition and international support. Development aid,
fair trade measures, and debt relief are not the only ways
the developed world can help. Just as important are trade
opportunities and investment partnerships that provide win-win
potential for all.
The Netherlands has played a committed,
positive role in global development. We hope that in the
years ahead, our countries will continue to cooperate in
all aspects of development. One important area is knowledge
exchange – sharing best practices in education, global
commerce, and entrepreneurship.
We cannot talk about development and progress
without talking about peace – the global partnership
that may be most important of all.
Recent and ongoing crises in the Middle
East challenge all nations. Conflict, instability, and occupation
in our region have sent shockwaves worldwide. Peace throughout
the region needs our full efforts.
In Iraq, there is a critical responsibility
to help the Iraqi people rebuild and restore stability.
A civil war in Iraq would be a major threat to the security
of all neighboring states. We must reach out to all groups,
to assure them of our support for Iraq’s stability
and to assist them in fighting terrorism. Jordan has taken
significant steps to help the Iraqi people through humanitarian
aid, civil and security training, and reconciliation efforts.
We recognize the commitments your own country has made –
nationally and through the EU – to support Iraq’s
security and stability. This active support has been, and
Lebanon also demands our concern. Europe
has played an important role in ending this summer’s
aggression, and in supporting the Lebanese government.
These are vital measures. But stability
in the Middle East will only come by focusing on the region’s
core problem … the source of instability and violence
over decades … a central grievance, felt throughout
the Middle East and indeed the world. And that is the continuing
denial of Palestinian rights. Until we end that wrong, new
generations will remain vulnerable to the sponsors of hate
and violence … and conflict will breed more conflict,
year after year.
A solution is difficult – but, my
friends, a solution exists. It recognizes that peace cannot
be imposed by unilateral force, but rather, in partnership
and trust. It answers the real need for security and justice
… for both parties. And it accords with the international
legality that the United Nations and the International Court
of Justice support. The terms are clear and measurable:
a two-state solution … guaranteeing Israel’s
security to live in peace with its neighbours … and
providing, at long last, a sovereign, viable, and independent
Palestine. This is the Arab Peace Initiative, first articulated
in Beirut in 2002.
It is time to move peace forward. We need
an international partnership of action, to encourage and
support a return to negotiations and keep the parties moving
towards results. And we must act now. Time is critical.
With every day of delay, more lives are lost and more futures
The partnership for peace … for
development … for understanding: all reflect humanity’s
common bonds. Our people, our countries, our region and
our world will share earth’s destiny. We must and
can make it a future of promise.
In the 10th Century, al-Zubaidi, a Muslim
scholar from Andalusia in Spain, wrote that: “All
lands in their diversity are one, and men are all brothers
He was echoing a timeless teaching of
our faith. For as God says in the Holy Qur’an:
“Mankind ! We created you from a pair of a male and
female, and made you into nations and tribes that ye may
know each other.”
So let us, indeed, know and respect one
another. Nations and peoples of good will make a powerful
coalition. With God’s help, we will succeed in partnership
Thank you very much.