Entries in King Abdullah (2)


King Abdullah and George Mitchell: Tough Road for Mid-East Peace

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- King Abdullah II of Jordan, a key American ally and advocate of the Middle East peace process, says he does not have much hope for progress on negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians in the coming months.

"My instincts tell me not to expect much over the next couple of months, unfortunately," King Abdullah said in an exclusive interview with " ABC’s This Week anchor Christiane Amanpour." "I just have a feeling that we're going to be living with the status quo for 2011."

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is currently visiting the United States, where he met with President Barack Obama at the White House on Friday, before addressing a joint session of Congress next Tuesday. Netanyahu spoke strongly against President Obama's Thursday address in which he publicly called for the pre-1967 borders of Israel to serve as the starting point for future peace negotiations.

Abdullah said the current realities on the ground leave him pessimistic, including Israeli settlement activity in the West Bank.

"When he speaks to me, I see his vision of peace with the Palestinians, peace with the Arabs and I've always left those meetings feeling very optimistic," Abdullah said of his discussions with Netanyahu. "But unfortunately, the circumstances that we've seen on the ground for the past two years does not fill me with much hope."

Former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell, who resigned this month as President Obama's envoy to the Middle East after serving two years, said that while President Obama's comments on the 1967 borders were "a significant statement," they do not signal a major shift in policy, especially when land swaps are considered.

"The president didn't say that Israel has to go back to the '67 lines. He said with agreed swaps," Mitchell told Amanpour. "Swaps means an exchange of land intended to accommodate major Israeli population centers to be incorporated into Israel and Israel's security needs. Agreed means through negotiations. Both parties must agree."

While Mitchell said "it's indisputable that we have not made as much progress as we would have liked," he said he maintains a positive outlook if both sides are willing to negotiate.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Obama Briefed on Counterterrorism Efforts, Egypt Accident

File photo. Photo Courtesy - Pete Souza/The White House(KAILUA, Hawaii) -- President Obama attended to some presidential duties Sunday before enjoying his fourth day of vacation.

The president received a briefing on the “ongoing counter-terrorism efforts” from National Security Staff Senior Director for Counterterrorism Nick Rasmussen and Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications Ben Rhodes. This was after President Obama's adviser on counterterrorism and homeland security, John Brennan, convened another inter-agency coordination call with Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, National Counterterrorism Center Director Michael Leiter, national security staff traveling with the president in Hawaii, and other representatives from the FBI, CIA and the counterterrorism community. It was the second of such calls since the president has been on the island.

“During the call, they reviewed our continued efforts to stay vigilant throughout the holiday season, and to coordinate with our foreign partners,” the White House said.

In addition, the White House said the president was briefed on the “tragic traffic accident,” that took the lives of a number of American citizens in Egypt this weekend and “the U.S. government’s ongoing efforts to support the victims and their families.”

Obama also had a phone conversation with King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, who is recovering from back surgery in New York.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio