Abdullah in 2008
|King of Jordan|
|Reign||7 February 1999 â€“ present|
|Coronation||9 June 1999|
|Heir apparent||Crown Prince Hussein|
30 January 1962 |
|Spouse||Rania Al-Yassin (m. 1993)|
|Crown Prince Hussein
Prime Minister Sharon, Prime Minister Abbas, I urge you today to end the designs of those who seek destruction, annihilation and occupation, and I urge you to have the will and the courage to begin to realize our dreams of peace, prosperity and coexistence.
If everybody is happy, then something is wrong with the democratic process.
Jordan has to show the Arab world that there's another way of doing things. We're a monarchy, yes, but if we can show democracy that leads to a two-, three-, four-party system – left, right and center – in a couple of years' time, then the Muslim Brotherhood will no longer be something to contend with.
I think the debate in our society now is that people have to agree on zero-tolerance to terrorism.
There is a tendency by a lot of officials to hide behind the king. And it's about time that officials take their responsibility and are responsible in front of the people.
Through Hamas, Iran has been able to buy itself a seat on the table in talking about the Palestinian issue. And, as a result, through Hamas it does play a role in the issue of the Palestinians, as strange as that should sound.
I have the responsibility of over four million people, and I am in a position to do good, to be able to bring about a new life for my people, and I will continue to move in that direction. It's a burden, but it needs to be done, and you have to have the courage and wisdom to see it through.
I believe nuclear energy in Jordan will be done in such a way where it is a public-private partnership so everyone can see exactly what's going on.
And as an American colleague said to me several months ago, he said, 'I think the challenge in Jordan – and, again, this is for the rest of the Middle East – we need to define what center is. And once we can define what center is to a Jordanian, then we can decide what's left and what's right of that.
The more I support with my economic plans the building of a middle class, the quicker they're going to turn around and say, 'Hey, we want a bigger say in things.' So, I knew what I was getting into right at the beginning. It's the right thing to do.
No matter what's happening in the Middle East – the Arab Spring, et cetera, the economic challenges, high rates of unemployment – the emotional, critical issue is always the Israeli-Palestinian one.
When I talk to people in need, they tell me they want to hope; they are eager for opportunity; they are ready for better days. And I can tell you that every time their hopes are disappointed, all nations lose.
At the end of the day we want to bring stability and hope to Iraq. That's the only way to defeat terrorism.
The Middle East has the highest unemployment percentage of any region in the world we have the largest youth cohort of history coming into the market place that frustration does translate into the political sphere when people are hungry and without jobs.
We have to always hope in humanity that people will make the right choices.
We want to be, I think, an example for the rest of the Arab world, because there are a lot of people who say that the only democracy you can have in the Middle East is the Muslim Brotherhood.
Many occasions I've sat down with Israelis to say, where do you see your country in 10 years time, and work me back, so we can figure out the synergies and the connections between Israel and the rest of the Arab world. No Israeli has ever been able to answer that question.
Is Israel going to continue to be 'Fortress Israel'? Or, as we all hope, become accepted into the neighborhood, which I believe is the only way we can move forward in harmony.
We're never going to be able to get rid of terrorism, because there is always going to be evil in the world.
I hope that none of the countries in the Middle East are planning anything but the peaceful utilization of nuclear energy.
Wikileaks didn't help confidence with American administrations because of conversations made public so easily.
I think this is really a defining moment for the Arab world. The problem is, it is all going to be about blood, sweat and tears. In certain countries it may be just sweat, and in some countries sweat and tears, and in some countries, as you can see, a lot of blood. I think initial instability is something that we are all extremely nervous of.
I'm just very wary that once you start military operations in any country, it's very difficult to predict what the outcome is.
I think the success of democracy is not really police security; it's the presence of a broad middle class. The stronger the middle class of a people is, the less you have to worry about one group coming in and exploiting the democratic process for its own ends.
Our response has been, 'Well, let's then make an effort to get the Israelis and the Palestinians to sit around the table.' That hasn't happened. So we only have ourselves to blame for this crisis.
If you look at military and intelligence positions from the 1950s, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has always been against American national interests.
Ten years ago I said, you know, my goal is to be able to get food on the table. What I'm trying to say by that is trying to create a vibrant, capable and effective middle class. The quicker and stronger that we can be able to do this, the easier it is for political reform to move forward.
The monarchy that I hand over to my son is not going to be the same one that I have inherited.
It's a tremendous responsibility to be direct descendants of the prophet Muhammad. This family has had the burden of leadership on its shoulders for 1,400 years. I'm not going to drop the ball on my shift.
Together, we can create a world in which peace is real; in which every human being can thrive; in which all share the promise of our century. I believe we can succeed.
I've benefited from the best of both societies and both cultures, East and West.
If you have a government that is elected, they need to do the hard work – because if they don't, they won't be around the next time the ballot box is open.
Over the past few years, the road to confrontation has shown its consequences: loss of innocent lives, destruction and fear. Most costly, however, was the loss of hope. The most precious gift that you can present to your peoples over the coming weeks is renewed hope born out of tangible progress on the ground.
Blowing up buses will not induce the Israelis to move forward, and neither will the killing of Palestinians or the demolition of their homes and their future. All this needs to stop. And we pledge that Jordan will do its utmost to help achieve it.
We have peace with Israel. We're actually the last man standing. So there is going to be immense pressure and people asking, 'Why are we having this relationship when it's not benefiting anybody?' Obviously, my answer is you always benefit from peace.
Today more than ever we need creative minds to address the issues of the age. And one of the most urgent is this: How can humanity know so much, achieve so much, and still fail so many people so badly?
I personally believe that any country that has a nuclear program should conform to international regulations and should have international regulatory bodies that check to make sure that any nuclear program moves in the right direction.
Each country its cost analysis is going to be different. So what we are you seeing in Syria, for example, is different than what's going on in Jordan. The maps are being rewritten.
For me, I am left leaning when it comes to health and education, on the right when it comes to defense. So I don't know where I come on the political spectrum. And I think this the challenge that a lot of Jordanians have to deal with.
Historic changes and challenges. Breakthroughs in human knowledge and opportunity. And yet, for vast numbers across the globe, the daily realities have not altered.
I think it's almost impossible for any expert to predict for the rapid changes we see in the Middle East. They are rapid and they will continue for quite a while.
The Arab Spring I think we will look back whether it's two years, five years, ten or fifteen. And say it's a good thing.
If you believe that the killing of innocent people is right, then you are not part of my future.
The incentive that you give to your youth is going to be the make-or-break future of the country.
I look at Jerusalem as being a beacon for the three monotheistic religions.
Fifty-seven countries in the world, a third of the United Nations, do not recognize Israel. In a way, I think North Korea has better international relations than Israel.
Mr. President, prime ministers, let us have ambitions: ambitions to move beyond the violence and occupation, to the day when two states, Palestine and Israel, can live together side by side in peace and security.
Many will view the compromises that will be made during your negotiations as painful concessions. But why not view them as peace offerings, ones that will provide in return the priceless gifts of hope, security and freedom for our children and our children's?
Earth's dispossessed are vulnerable targets for extremists: those who teach that global justice is meaningless; that satisfaction can come only in violence, division, and intellectual isolation.
When we try to push the envelope, there are certain sectors of society that say this is a Zionist plot to sort of destabilize our country, or this is an American agenda.
Whenever you have a crisis, you're always going to have the extremists taking advantage of the situation.
When you get billions in aid and your weapons resupplied and your ammunition stock resupplied, you don't learn the lesson that war is bad and nobody wins.
The security and the future of Jordan is hand-in-hand with the future of the Palestinians and the Israelis.
When there's a status quo, usually what shakes everybody up is some sort of military confrontation, at which point we all come running and screaming to pick up the pieces.
In our view, successful reform is not an event. It is a sustainable process that will build on its own successes – a virtuous cycle of change.