Sunday, November 26, 2006

King of Jordan Speaks Out About Iraqi Situation


King Abdullah of Jordan, who will host a meeting between President Bush and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki this week, said today that the situation in Iraq is quickly disintegrating and dramatic action is needed before the end of the year to unify the country.

The king also said that no serious progress can be made on Iraq's problems until a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian issues is found.

"We have to make sure that all the parties in Iraq understand the dangers of the ongoing escalation, and I hope that Prime Minister Maliki will have some ideas . . . bringing all the different sects inside of Iraq together," Abdullah told George Stephanopoulos on ABC's "This Week." "And they need to do it now, because, obviously, as we're seeing, things are beginning to spiral out of control."

In what may have been a warning to the Bush administration about waiting too long to hear from a high-ranking, bipartisan panel looking for options on Iraq policy, the king stressed that speed is essential. "I don't think we're in a position where we can come back and revisit the problem in early 2007," he said. "There needs to be a strategy. There needs to be a plan that brings all the parties together, and bring them today and not tomorrow."

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