Last updated: 25 January, 2013

Door closing on two-state solution, says Jordan’s king

The door is closing on the chances of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and will be firmly shut by the end of US President Barack Obama’s second term, Jordan’s King Abdullah II warned Friday.

“If we’re not too late, the two-state solution will only survive as long as President Obama’s term. If we don’t fix it in the next four years, I don’t believe it will ever happen,” Abdullah told political and business leaders gathered at the Swiss ski resort of Davos.

“Jordan with some Arab countries, and with three leaders in Europe — the British, the French and Germans — are all marching towards Washington in February and March to say ‘Mr. President, it’s time to really engage in the Israeli-Palestinian process’,” the king said.

He predicted that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is preparing to form a coalition government after this week’s election, will come under pressure to make progress in the peace process.

“Whatever he does to form his coalition, he’s got to keep in mind that the international community… is going to be knocking on his door and that of the Palestinians to move the process forward,” the king said.

In Jerusalem, Israeli President Shimon Peres’s office said that he met with the Jordanian monarch in Davos on Friday.

“President Peres and King Abdullah II conducted a diplomatic work meeting which focused on progressing peace in the region,” it said in an English-language statement, which did not divulge details of their conversation.

Direct talks between Israel and the Palestinians have been stalled for over two years, bogged down over Palestinian anger at continued Israeli settlement building.

At his confirmation hearing to become the next US secretary of state, Senator John Kerry said Thursday he believed there was “a way forward” in the peace process and that time was running out for a two-state solution.