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Jordan's king impatient with Israel

May 22, 2011 at 1:21 PM
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WASHINGTON, May 22 (UPI) -- Jordan's King Abdullah said Israel is changing its stance on peace talks with the Palestinians and scuttling a golden opportunity for a settlement.

Appearing on ABC's "This Week with Christiane Amanpour," the king said Israel's refusal to deal with Hamas was unrealistic and ran counter to its insistence that the Palestinian government be united.

President Mahmoud Abbas "has now made reconciliation with Hamas and does represent the Palestinian people, and the Israeli argument is, well, we can't deal with him because of Hamas," Abdullah said. "Abbas had been very clear that Hamas will not be part of the government."

Abdullah warned that allowing the status quo between the two states to continue would only lead to another Palestinian uprising in the near future.

"It's always easy to find an excuse why not to do the right thing," Abdullah said. "And if we continue along those lines, then we will never solve this problem."

George Mitchell, who retired this month as the United States' top envoy to the region, told ABC in a taped interview aired Sunday the United States was neither ditching Israel nor muscling it into an unsatisfactory agreement.

"I don't believe it is threatening Israel," Mitchell said. "A major objective of this initiative is to prevent a disaster for Israel from occurring at the United Nations General Assembly in September, when the Palestinians have said they will see a unilateral declaration of statehood."

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