King Abdullah II of Jordan has voiced optimism in the outcome of the upcoming Arab League summit in Jeddah, expecting the beginning of a new stage of Arab action based on a strong foundation of economic cooperation that benefits all sides.
During an interview with Ghassan Charbel, editor-in-chief of the Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper, King Abdullah highlighted the need to tackle political challenges facing Arab nations, the most important of which being the Palestinian cause.
He stressed the importance of creating an independent Palestinian state, with East Jerusalem as its capital, based on the 1967 borders.
I am optimistic that the efforts of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman have prepared the ground for a successful summit, as everyone is dedicated to its success,” said King Abdullah.
“What further boosts my belief in its success is the conviction we have seen in recent months regarding the need to build pan-Arab relations based on strong economic cooperation, ensuring real benefits for our people.
“This would strengthen our cooperation against occasional political differences.”
The Arab world faces a variety of shared challenges regarding the environment, governance and development, which King Abdullah says will require more regional collaboration to address.
“Our countries face a range of challenges that demand close and deep cooperation, driven by mutual benefit,” he said.
“These challenges include stimulating and developing the economy to create job opportunities for future generations, advancing governance and reforms, fighting corruption, addressing refugee and water issues, as well as illicit drugs, enhancing education and healthcare services, and tackling environmental concerns.
In particular, King Abdullah stressed how deepening economic cooperation could create opportunities of hope for the region’s youth and provide a strong foundation for stability and prosperity.
With joint effort and effective planning, he said it is possible to improve regional living standards, which have suffered as a result of conflicts and tensions.
King Abdullah confirmed the strategic and historical nature of mutual ties between Jordan and Saudi Arabia, built on the principles of cooperation, consultation and pursuing stability through responsible policies.
He also praised his excellent relations with King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and expressed pride in seeing the reforms and developments underway in Saudi Arabia, viewing the Kingdom’s endeavors as an inspiring example for other nations to follow.
Embracing economic modernization, using technology and engaging youth in the process, along with promoting culture, tourism and the arts, has positive impacts not only for the respective nation, but also for the surrounding region, he said.
Praising the friendship and cooperation between the Saudi crown prince and Crown Prince Hussein of Jordan, King Abdullah said: “The aspirations, capabilities and hopes of this generation of Arab youth promise a better future for our countries.”
In his final remarks, King Abdullah said he hopes the region will enjoy more opportunities to realize its collective potential, serve the development project and open paths for prosperity and stability that serve the public interest.