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Palestinian rights key to terror battle: Jordan's king

AFP , Thursday 10 Dec 2015
Abdullah, Renzi
Italian Priemier Matteo Renzi, left, shakes hands with King Abdullah II of Jordan during their meeting at Chigi Palace's premier office in Rome, Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2015. (Photo: AP)
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Jordan's King Abdullah II on Thursday warned the West that a global anti-terror strategy had to include action to ensure the Palestinian people's rights are respected.

"Today is International Human Rights day, but until the Palestinian people achieve their rights, millions of people around the world will be cynical about the reality of global justice," the monarch told a conference on Mediterranean security in Rome.

"Terror propoganda and recruitment thrive on this conflict and we all pay the price."

Abdullah also used his keynote address to the three-day seminar to remind European governments of the scale of the refugee burden being born by his country and others bordering conflict-torn Syria.

"In recent years, Italy and other European countries have experienced an inflow of desperate people," he said.

"Jordanians understand the fortitude and humanity that is being demanded of you -- because our country has been coping with an even larger refugee burden, for even longer."

Abdullah said Jordan, the long-term home of more than two million of Palestinian refugees, was currently hosting 1.4 million people displaced from Syria, the equivalent of one for every five Jordanians.

"One quarter of our national budget is being consumed by refugee-related costs," the monarch added.

"For Jordanians, compassionate action is a moral duty. But the reality is that we and a few other regional host countries are carrying this burden on behalf of the entire international community.

"The answer cannot simply be emergency aid, vital as that is. There must be comprehensive global engagement to address a crisis that, realistically, will not end soon."

Abdullah said the conflict in Syria could only be ended by a political process, without elaborating on the ongoing military campaign against the Islamic State group (ISIS).

"I am hopeful that we can now grab the opportunity that has emerged in the Vienna talks to move this process forward," he added.

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