Interview with His Majesty King Abdullah II

Abdullah Al Hamaideh
Al Siyasah
08 September 1999
(Translated from Arabic)

King Abdullah II of Jordan has praised Kuwaiti-Jordanian relations, affirming that they are back to normal. In an exclusive interview with Al-Siyasah at the conclusion of his visit to the country, which he left on the 7th, King Abdullah said that in the coming months, Jordan and Kuwait will seek to activate joint cooperation in all spheres. He pointed out that Jordan and Kuwait agree on many points concerning various regional and international issues. He stressed that he and the emir of the country, His Highness Sheikh Jaber Al Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabah, agreed to maintain consultations and coordination in the various fields that are of concern to the two countries.

King Abdullah added that Kuwait and Jordan see eye to eye on the need for the Arab nation to overcome the state of weakness and division it is experiencing. He noted that there is a shared Jordanian-Kuwaiti vision, which stresses the need for a united Arab stand and for reviving Arab solidarity on sound foundations of constructive brotherly cooperation. “This will safeguard the interests of our Arab nation and the achievements made by its peoples and enable it to face all challenges,” he said. The King added that Jordan appreciates Kuwait's stands, led by His Highness Sheikh Jaber Al Sabah, especially its constant support for Arab rights and just causes, in all the stages the Arab nation has gone through. King Abdullah II asserted that his country feels the suffering of Kuwaiti prisoners in Iraq and the pain of their families. “This issue worries us, and we support any sincere efforts to end it, in view of its humanitarian dimension,” he said.

King Abdullah hailed the success of Kuwaiti investments in Jordan, especially in the Jordan Phosphate Mines Company, as Kuwait holds six per cent of its shares, and the Arab Potash Company. He said that Jordan is about to open the door for investment in the airline and telecommunications sectors, and will welcome Kuwaiti capital to take a share in both of these sectors.

On the situation in Iraq, the Jordanian monarch said that this issue has exceeded its political dimensions and become a humanitarian and moral burden that cannot be ignored, in terms of the need to stand by the Iraqi people and their right to a decent living, as well as ridding them of their suffering and pain. This is an international responsibility in general and an Arab responsibility in particular. He added: “We should not allow this tragic situation to develop negatively at the expense of the unity of Iraq's land and people. We want a safe and prosperous Iraq in a stable Arab nation.”

On the efforts being made to render the Middle East peace process a success, King Abdullah said: “There are intensive efforts under way to end the state of conflict and reach a just, comprehensive, and lasting peace in the region. This is especially true since an optimistic atmosphere prevailed in the wake of the election win of the Labor Party, led by Ehud Barak. We in Jordan support all efforts that seek to achieve progress in the peace process on all tracks. We witnessed the signing of an agreement in Sharm El Sheikh yesterday to implement the Wye River accords. God willing, we will see in the days and months ahead some progress on the Syrian and Lebanese tracks. During my meetings with President Hafeth Assad, I have sensed that he is very keen to advance the peace process and picking up the negotiations from the point where they left off, in order to achieve a just peace that restores rights in full.”

He added: “Our relations with Syria and Lebanon are developing in a satisfactory manner. We look forward to enhancing these relations in a manner that integrates efforts and resources and achieves common interests. Jordan has always aspired to turn into reality the slogans of integration between Arab countries, especially neighbouring countries. We will seek to achieve this integration with our brothers in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states, Egypt, the Palestinian state and all countries of North Africa. We will do that gradually and whenever possible.”

Concerning the Palestinian issue, King Abdullah said that Jordan has always supported the efforts of the Palestinian brothers to regain their rights on their national soil and establish an independent state. As for Jordan's position on the plan for resettling Palestinian refugees, the King said: “Jordan's position on this issue is clear and is consistent with the international position and international legitimacy, which stresses the right of Palestinian refugees to return and compensation.”