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King Abdullah II of Jordan to Address Joint Meeting of Congress

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2007-02-25 05:32:06     
Embassy of Jordan

His Majesty King Abdullah is scheduled to address a joint meeting of the U.S. Congress on March 7, 2007, to urge more American engagement in the Middle East peace process.

According to an informed source at the Royal Hashemite Court, the address to Congress is a unique opportunity to articulate the Arab states' vision of comprehensive regional peace based on the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative. The Palestinian-Israeli conflict will be a key focus of the King's address, the source said, because it remains the core conflict in the region, and a solution to that conflict would facilitate the resolution of other regional challenges.

Senior politicians, thought leaders, media representatives and diplomats are expected to join congresspersons during the joint meeting.

King Abdullah's speech will also address the crisis in neighboring Iraq and ways to end the bloodshed and restore security and stability there.

The King will be the first head of state to address a joint meeting of this Congress, now controlled by Democrats, and the first Congress to have a woman as speaker of the House and to include a Muslim-American member.

The address to the joint meeting is a major component of a several-day visit to the United States.

During the visit, King Abdullah is also expected to hold talks with U.S. President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

His talks with administration officials will focus on the importance of the U.S. role in encouraging Palestinians and Israelis to return to the negotiating table, in line with the two-state solution and international legality. He will also stress the importance of realizing tangible on-the- ground progress in the peace process this year that will fulfill the Palestinian and Israeli aspirations to live in peace. His Majesty will also address ways to enhance Iraq's security and stability and achieve reconciliation between all sectors of Iraqi society.

King Abdullah will also meet with American Arab, Muslim and Jewish leaders to discuss the role that their communities can play in Middle East peace and in advancing international understanding.

On his way to the U.S., the King will stop in the United Kingdom on Wednesday for talks with British Prime Minister Tony Blair. According to the Royal Court source, the talks in London will follow visits to Egypt and Saudi Arabia.

The King's meetings are one component of Arab diplomacy intended to help project the Arab position on regional peace in world capitals and build momentum for the resumption of Palestinian-Israeli peace talks and to maintain international support for Iraq's unity, security, stability and reconstruction.

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