|King stresses coexistence in Davos|
|In his address to the third World Economic Forum in Davos early this week, His Majesty King Abdallah II affirmed peace and coexistence are what Palestinians and Israelis will opt for in the end. He stressed a Palestinian state capable of sustaining three million people, is vital for security in the region and the world.
The Palestinian-Israeli conflict remains the core of injustice leading to violence and extremism. The King said, “We, who believe in peace, must now succeed. Not only for the sake of those who are suffering from this relentless cycle of pain and violence. But for the sake of the world we live in.”
The King pointed out that per capita income in the Arab World has shrunk to a level just above that of sub-Sahara Africa. Twenty percent live on less than $2 a day, while unemployment stands at 15 percent. Productivity is declining, R and D is weak or nonexistent, and science and technology are dormant. He highlighted the vitality of growth in “meeting important social goals—reducing poverty, improving the quality of life, enhancing health, and more.”
The King went on to describe how tolerance and respect were the norms in the emerging Islamic society, when enlightened Muslim thinkers laid the foundations in science, philosophy and medicine in the 9th century, supported by the positive traditions of Islam. Inherent in Islam are sources of strength and flexibility, and the challenges facing the nation require strengthening the peaceful Muslim majority, draining the resources of extremism and addressing grievances.
“Our motto ‘Jordan First’ entails that we must act rather than wait for others’ action as our country is the priority for its leadership and hence we must embark on a process of gradual and sustained reform-transforming economic, social and political life, based on democratic consent, in order to offer real hope to the young minds of today,” the King declared.
He went on to confirm parliamentary elections will be held later this spring, and stressed the importance of free media and speech plus the perseverance in human rights issues.
Amman,02 04 2003