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Lebanon ‘doesn’t have to be financial basket case,’ says US vitality safety tsar

Funding key to navigating Mideast’s ‘vital crossroads’: Jordan’s king

NEW YORK: The Center East is at a “vital crossroads,” however a brand new narrative based mostly on peace and prosperity may be created by means of financial funding, Jordan’s King Abdullah II mentioned on Wednesday.

The nation is battling the dual threats of surging numbers of refugees and a booming drug- and weapon-smuggling commerce alongside the Syrian border, he warned.

The king was the keynote speaker on the inaugural Center East International Summit in New York, organized by Al-Monitor and Semafor, and attended by Arab Information.

“Our area will proceed to endure till the world helps carry the shadow of the Palestine-Israel battle — the central challenge of the Center East,” he mentioned, including that the post-COVID-19 world has introduced with it a regional need to “put the previous behind us” and discover a resolution to the battle.

“Yearly, Ramadan, Passover and Easter create bloodshed. That is the hardest yr for Palestinians with the demise charge previously 15 years.”

The king highlighted the necessity to deal with altering generational tendencies in Palestine, saying: “We — Jordanians, Arabs, Israelis, Individuals — don’t know who the youthful technology of Palestinians are.”

He added that the Center East has a possibility to interrupt down boundaries to peace by means of regional initiatives.

He praised Saudi Arabia’s function in opening regional financial networks, including that the personal sector performs a key function in constructing alternatives for dialogue between competing sides.

The king mentioned financial incentives can encourage peace within the area, including: “We will present that new narrative for the area.”

He mentioned a serious flaw of Israeli coverage is the assumption “that you would be able to parachute over Palestine. That doesn’t work.”

He added: “Except we remedy this downside, there’ll by no means be a real peace. So we’re working in the meanwhile on easy methods to convey this collectively. There are a number of transferring elements.”

The king additionally spoke on the problem of refugees, who make up one-third of Jordan’s inhabitants. He warned on Tuesday on the UN that “Jordan’s capability to ship essential companies to refugees has surpassed our limits. Jordan gained’t have the flexibility nor the assets to host and take care of extra.”

He mentioned worldwide “fatigue” and the warfare in Ukraine have performed a task within the international group’s ignorance of the refugee challenge. “It is a downside that’s going to come back again and have an effect on all of us,” he added.

The king mentioned the current outbreak of protests in southern Syria may signify the emergence of a brand new wave of refugees.

“Individuals are demonstrating as a result of they’re struggling, so we (Jordan) and the Lebanese could possibly be confronted with one other wave of refugees,” he mentioned.

“From a Lebanese and Jordanian perspective … we will’t take any extra. We’re already overburdened.

“The worldwide help has dwindled dramatically, whether or not it’s the UNHCR (UN Excessive Commissioner for Refugees), the World Meals Programme.

“Donor nations are actually reducing assist to Jordan 50 % yearly. We’re getting nothing in comparison with what we as a authorities try to place in to help (refugees). It’s an ethical problem.”

He described the current surge in drug and weapon smuggling from Syria as being Iranian in origin, with Tehran concentrating on Jordan as a “staging floor” for its overseas coverage.

“We’re preventing each single day on our borders to cease large quantities of medicine coming into our nation,” he mentioned.

The king added that Iran is attempting to sway Iraq’s authorities away from integrating with Jordan and the Arab Gulf states — a problem that requires a regional effort to deal with.

He praised Saudi Arabia’s rapprochement with Iran, saying Riyadh “was asking the query” of why the rivalry exists within the first place — a step that Tehran should additionally take.

He highlighted the significance of financial funding as a method to interrupt down boundaries to peace, saying Saudi Arabia’s Imaginative and prescient 2030 reform plan serves as a strong mannequin.

“The Saudis have a really formidable and really robust mobilization program. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has a number of help from the youth within the nation to do these initiatives.”

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