The door is closing on the chances of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and will be firmly shut by the end of U.S. President Barack Obama’s second term, Jordan's King Abdullah II warned Friday.
“If we’re not too late, the two-state solution will only survive as long as President Obama’s term. If we don’t fix it in the next four years, I don’t believe it will ever happen,” Abdullah told political and business leaders gathered at the Swiss ski resort of Davos.
“Jordan with some Arab countries, and with three leaders in Europe -- the British, the French and Germans -- are all marching towards Washington in February and March to say ‘Mr. President it’s time to really engage in the Israeli-Palestinian process’,” the king said.
He predicted that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is preparing to form a coalition government after this week’s election, will come under pressure to make progress in the peace process.
“Whatever he does to form his coalition, he’s got to keep in mind that the international community... is going to be knocking on his door and that of the Palestinians to move the process forward,” the king said.
Direct talks between Israel and the Palestinians have been stalled for over two years, bogging down over Palestinian anger at continued Israeli settlement building.
At his confirmation hearing as the next U.S. secretary of state on Thursday, U.S. Senator John Kerry said he believed there was “a way forward” in the peace process and that time was running out for a two-state solution.
He also called on the international community to increase its assistance for the tide of refugees fleeing the conflict in Syria.
“I urge once more a stepped-up world response to the Syrian crisis,” he told the World Economic Forum in Davos. “The weakest refugees are struggling just to survive. ... More international support is desperately needed.”