Davos Annual Meeting 2010 – Conversation with H.M. King Abdullah II Ibn Al Hussein

Davos Annual Meeting 2010 – Conversation with H.M. King Abdullah II Ibn Al Hussein

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Fareed Zakaria, Editor, Newsweek International,
India: Ladies and gentlemen, thank you so much for
coming to this. As you know, this is going to be recorded so it’s particularly important
that you turn your cell phones, BlackBerrys, any iPad if anyone bought one yesterday, any
of that off. And the format for this is a 30-minute conversation with His Majesty. There
are no questions from the floor. The Indonesians had a phrase called guided democracy, so this
is guided democracy. I am your guide; I will try to intuit the questions you would ask
His Majesty and ask them. The Arabic translation, for those of you who would wish it, is on
Channel 2 on your headsets. I doubt very much very many of you are going to need it, but
in case you do. It is a great pleasure and honour to welcome His Majesty, the King of
Jordan, King Abdullah. H.M. King Abdullah II Ibn Al Hussein, King
of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan: Thank you very much. Very pleased to be here. Zakaria: Your Majesty, you live in one of
the most consequential parts of the world, one of the most dangerous parts of the world,
and a place that has caused great frustration for the rest of the world. I mean, there’s
a saying in New York, ‘Nobody has ever lost money betting against the Israeli-Palestinian
peace process’. And there’s a sense, I think, that it’s almost like a bad joke; we just
keep discussing it and yet nothing seems to change. Is there anything now that makes you
either particularly pessimistic or particularly optimistic that we are at a moment where something
could change? H.M. King Abdullah: Actually, this is probably
the first time where I am somewhat pessimistic, as we all know that the core issue in the
region is the Israeli-Palestinian issue. And as you said, it’s been going on for so many
decades, so much suffering, so much frustration. And it can only get worse if we don’t solve
the problem. And you’ve said, you know, all of us in the international community are frustrated.
You have to understand the connectivity: all of us in the international community also
pay the price for not solving this problem. The process is at the moment we are working
to try and get the Israelis and Palestinians back to the tables. Their proximity talks
hopefully will come underway. We are waiting for the United States to hopefully give us
their undivided attention on this issue. So if we don’t get a clear mandate over the next
month or so, then I’m not convinced that we’re going to move the process forward. What we
have to keep in mind is – Zakaria: Let’s stay on that, though. You’re
saying if in the next month you don’t get a clear sense from the United States that
it is pushing hard on this, you feel like things are going to stall. H.M. King Abdullah: We have the Arab Summit
meeting in Libya in the end of March. This opens for people to maybe voice their views
that they’re not convinced that anything is going to move forward. I mean, at the moment
we have the 57-state solution, which is the Arab-Islamic peace proposal for Israel. There’s
been attempts in the past by certain countries to try and pull that off the table. People
are disheartened; people are not convinced. I think the credibility of the US is under
question now, so we really have to be able to move the process forward in the next month
or so, especially leading into the Arab Summit, so that we don’t have any confusion coming
out of there. Zakaria: But the Obama administration has
tried to appoint a special envoy. It has called on the Israelis to freeze settlements. Do
you feel that the Obama administration – I mean, what you’re saying is pretty significant.
You’re saying there’s a loss of credibility, a potential loss of America’s image if it
doesn’t do something. What can the Obama administration do? H.M. King Abdullah: Well, I personally believe
that the President is extremely committed to it, but we also know that America is dealing
with many other issues: internally, health plans, other issues, Massachusetts was I think
something that hit the news. Do we have the undivided attention of the United States,
which is something that we desperately need in the next month or so, to set the right
tone for negotiations with the Israelis and Palestinians? And the only other thing I just
want to clarify is, sooner or later there is an invisible line in the sand that we will
cross that will be clear to everybody, whether or not the viability of a two-state solution
is there. And I hope we haven’t crossed that yet but when – or God forbid –
we do cross that line, then I think we doom the Middle East and the region to many decades
of instability. So the more time we spend talking, as you say, and not solving this
problem, we all pay the price. Zakaria: And there are already voices in Israel
saying that the two-state solution is the wrong way to think about this, we need to
go back to thinking that Jordan is the Palestine state, because of course a majority of Jordanians
are Palestine. H.M. King Abdullah: What sense does that make?
I mean, the two-state solution is the only solution that’s out there. There are voices
that every now and then say that there’s going to be a Jordan option. A Jordanian option
on what? There’s pushes by certain elements of the Israelis government to say Jordan takes
a role in the West Bank. That is never going to work and we have to be very clear that
Jordan absolutely does not want to have anything to do with the West Bank. All we will be doing
is replacing Israeli military with Jordanian military. The Palestinians do not want that.
They want to have their own statehood. And again, what type of West Bank are we talking
about? We are talking about a viable entity. What I think these people are offering to
try and pull Jordan in is really nothing that would create enough statehood or make the
Palestinians feel that they have something that’s called their home. So Jordan –
I’m on the record; we’ve said this so many times – we will not have any role in
the West Bank. By trying to make Jordan Palestine, it doesn’t make any sense to me. That’s not
going to happen. There are other certain people in Israel that are saying, ‘Well, if there’s
not going to be a Jordan option, the only other option out there is the one-state solution’,
which terrifies more Israelis than the two-state solution. So I think that the only credible,
viable way of solving this problem is the two-state solution, giving the Israelis and
the Palestinians the ability to live together, more importantly allowing Arabs and Muslims
to then have a peace treaty with Israel. 57 nations – a third of the United Nations
– do not recognize Israel today, so they are isolated in the neighbourhood and
further afield. Zakaria: But you have some contacts with Israel.
What is your sense of what is going on in Israel? What is the mood in Israel? Are they
in the mood to negotiate? Because my own sense is the building of the wall has ended the
problem of terrorism to a large extent in Israel and it has made a lot of Israelis think,
‘We can live with this. You know, what’s the problem with just continuing as things are?’ H.M. King Abdullah: Well, this is the challenge.
I met with President Shimon Peres yesterday, who has always believed in a two-state solution
and the importance of it because he is looking at the future of his country. There are those
– I still think that the overwhelming percentage of Israelis and Palestinians do
want a two-state solution and as quickly as possible. The challenge that we have in Israel
in particular is to get beyond the politicians to the Israeli people themselves. Because
they are so disheartened that they don’t believe it’s ever going to happen. And trying to wrap
our minds around how to deal with the Israeli mentality – many occasions I have sat
down with Israelis to say, ‘Look, where do you see your country in 10 years’ time? And
work me back so we can figure out the synergies and the connections between Israel and the
rest of the Arab world’. No Israeli has ever been able to answer that question. Because
of the security threat, they think in the here and now; they can only think of today.
When is the next attack? When is the next bomb? And so this is the challenge that Jordan
has and the international community has, reaching out to the Israeli public and saying ‘Do you
want to continue to be Fortress Israel? What a dismal place that would be and how it continues
to affect the whole region’. The challenge is to reach the Israeli people and say, ‘We
basically want the two-state solution to happen so that you can be integrated into the neighbourhood’.
And that’s actually a lot harder than people might imagine. Zakaria: You said the core issue is the Israel-Palestinian
issue in the region. I am hearing people in the region, particularly in Saudi Arabia,
say to me quietly, ‘The core issue in the region is now the rise of Iran and what to
do about an Iran that is interfering in Lebanon, interfering in the Palestinian territories,
challenging us at every corner’. How do you see the rise of Iran? H.M. King Abdullah: I still go back to saying
the core issue is the Israel-Palestinian problem, because all roads in our part of the world
– all the conflicts – lead to Jerusalem. Today, Iran is putting itself as
the defenders of the Palestinian cause. Several days ago, Osama bin Laden in his tape message
to the United States again underlined the suffering of the Palestinians. It is the injustice
felt towards the Palestinian people that allows other state actors or non-state actors to
take the role of being the defender of the Palestinians. If we solve this problem, then
I believe we start to unwind all the other pressure points inside of the Middle East.
So if there are those that are being threatening towards Israel from the Iranian regime, I
keep telling the Israelis that if we solve the Israeli-Palestinian people, the first
people that will stand behind the Israelis and say ‘Thank you very much for those in
the Iranian government, we have our statehood, we have our future. We don’t need missiles
pointed in this direction’. So I think that the simple, easiest solution is to get the
Israelis and Palestinians together that allows Arabs, Muslims and Israelis to be able to
integrate once and for all. Zakaria: That said, tell me what you think
about the rise of Iran. How big a problem is it? H.M. King Abdullah: Well, they have their
internal difficulties at this stage. Iran is a very important and significant country
in our part of the world. They’re an ancient, historic land. They’re a very important player.
I’m just always nervous about discussions that come up with state actors around our
region that push people to say that the only alternative is a military solution. I hope
that we can have a peaceful solution to the conflicts that some countries have with Iran.
I think that the majority of the Iranian people would like to see a peaceful resolution to
these issues. Zakaria: But could you and Jordan live with
an Iran with a nuclear weapon? H.M. King Abdullah: Well, again, if you solve
the Israeli-Palestinian problem, the question should be slightly different. I mean, I think
there needs to be transparency on nuclear programmes throughout the region, including
Israel. And I think every country has a right to pursue peaceful nuclear energy. Now, again,
the argument that I sometimes hear in circles is the Iranians are pursuing a military programme
and therefore this is a threat to Israel. But if we solve the Israeli-Palestinian problem,
why would Iranians want to spend so much money on a military programme? It makes no sense.
I mean, the country has social challenges, it has economic challenges. Why push the envelope
in getting to a military programme for what cause? If you solve the problem, you don’t
need to pursue that path. Zakaria: People in Washington who are going
to listen to this are going to say, ‘He’s soft on Iran’. H.M. King Abdullah: I’m trying to say that
we should all talk and solve the problem. I mean, what we’re doing is, you know, there’s
always going to be an enemy to Israel if we don’t solve the issue. In the 60s, Egypt was
the main sort of country that created concerns to the Israeli government. There’s a peace
treaty between Israel and Egypt today. It was then in the past decade Iraq was a threat.
That has been solved, but has created a lot of problems as we are looking at it today.
And now the new bogey monster is Iran. I think we have to get away from the perception of
instilling fear and uncertainty. It all comes down to the Israelis and Palestinians solving
their problem, that releases the tensions across the world. President Obama said something
that was very, very critical about the future of the Middle East. He said that for the first
time – and I think it should have happened many, many decades ago – America wants
to see a resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict because it is in the vital national-security
interest of the United States. Because he understands that as long as this conflict
continues, as you said, if we keep just pushing this wall down the road for the next couple
of years, we are all affected by that instability. We’re all going to pay that price, and how
often can we continue? Instability in our region will affect the economy, it will affect
trade, energy. How long do we want to continue living under that atmosphere? Zakaria: You spoke a couple of years ago about
the danger of a Shia crescent, meaning the Shias in Iran, a Shia-dominated government
in Iraq, presumably Shias in the Gulf. Do you regret having made that comment? H.M. King Abdullah: No, well, that’s not what
I said. What I said is I was worried about members – certain members –
of the Iranian government using an agenda to create the perception of a Shia crescent,
because the last thing that we need in this part of the world is a conflict between Sunnis
and Shias. And so when I raise the alarm bell, I saw a political strategy that would as an
endgame have the Sunnis and Shias at each others’ throats. If you look back at the Iraq-Iran
war, the war first started as a war of territory. It then became an issue of race – Persians
against Arabs – which I think was wrong. Never did they ever come close to touching
the religious aspect, because the fault line between Shias and Sunnis goes from Beirut
all the way to Bombay and it’s a catastrophic subject to play with. In my view, I felt that
there was an agenda out there that was going to try and push it in that respect, and also
raising the alarm bell that that cannot happen. Zakaria: And do you look at what is happening
in Iraq and does that give you some reassurance, because it does seem to me at least that the
government in Iraq – though Shia dominated and though often somewhat tough in dealing
with the Sunnis of Iraq – has not aligned itself with Iran? H.M. King Abdullah: Iraq has tremendous challenges
and again the stability of Iraq is extremely important for all of us. And I think that
we as Arab countries have let down the Iraqis; we need to be doing more to outreach and be
there for the Iraqis, which we haven’t really done. The way I describe Iraq is, you know,
a slow movement towards the light. They have many challenges. I hope that the evolution
of the next elections will bring more stability to Iraq. At the end, Iraqis believe in their
nation, believe in themselves, and want to move their nation forward. And I believe in
the strength and, you know, the solid mentality of Iraqis that will take their country forward.
They need all our help and Iraq will make it. Zakaria: Do you worry that the current Iraqi
government is not including Sunnis enough, has raised again the spectre of a kind of
de-Baathification? H.M. King Abdullah: Well, I was always against
the de-Baathification process because – and I said it when it first came out –
that it would create tremendous instability inside the country. But anyway, that’s behind
us now. I think that the government, I hope, will be far more flexible in allowing as many
groups to involve themselves at the voting booth. Jordan in particular now is allowing
Iraqis in our country to make it to the voting booth on behalf of the Iraqi government. And
the more participation of Iraqis in this next election can only be a good thing for the
future. Zakaria: How many Iraqis are in Jordan? Because
when I was last in Amman, I was struck. Here was this country, Iraq, in civil war and the
effect in Jordan was just that it was raising real-estate prices because you had so many
hundreds of thousands of refugees coming and buying real estate in Amman, but it was not
affecting the political stability or economic climate in Jordan. H.M. King Abdullah: Well, you know, we have
basically taken the Iraqis in as our fellow citizens, so they have free access to our
educational system and health system. The figure that was being thrown out there was
about 750,000 Iraqis. For a population of six million, that is pretty dramatic. I think
the fairer number is about half a million, give or take a hundred thousand. But it is
a stress on Jordan, but again I think there is a responsibility to be there for the Iraqis
and to create the atmosphere inside of Iraq so that hopefully most of the Iraqis can go
back to their own country. Zakaria: A Jordanian man blew himself up in
Afghanistan, killing CIA officers, and it led to a great deal of speculation about Jordan’s
role in trying to take on Al Qaeda. Do you have an active role in combating Al Qaeda
in Afghanistan and Pakistan? H.M. King Abdullah: Well, you have to understand
that not only were Americans killed; there was a Jordanian officer that was killed in
that particular attack. What people fail to remember is that we have been battling Al
Qaeda way before America had its 9/11 and this has been an ongoing conflict. I have
always been very, very proud of our armed forces, our security services in being about
to combat a group that I don’t believe has anything to do with our religion. Our role
is to protect our citizens, to protect our country but equally important is to protect
our faith. And I am not just talking about Jordan; inside the Arabic and Islamic world,
there is a major threat by a group of extremists that are trying to, pretending as far as I
see to be Muslims, and desecrating the name of Islam. We stand for tolerance, acceptance,
humanity. And these people, who call themselves Muslims, are trying to hijack our religion.
And this is not just a Jordanian problem; it is a problem throughout the Arab and Islamic
world. And we will continue to fight. We had our own 9/11, the 9th of November 2005, where
three bombs were set off in hotels. We lost 60 people and over 100 wounded. If you compare
that to the figures of America’s 9/11, it was almost double the casualties for a country
of our size. And you know, I made my mind up then that we were not going to be defensive.
If we felt that people were going to target Jordan, we would target them. And my message
is clear: as long as you continue to try and hurt the citizens of my country, we have the
right to protect ourselves. Zakaria: How do you read the strength of Al
Qaeda right now? Because what’s striking is that they have not been able to plan or execute
any spectacular attacks in the West, in Jordan, in Egypt, in Saudi and in fact Osama bin Laden
in that tape message you referred to tried to take credit for what was after all a failed
attack by the Christmas bomber. H.M. King Abdullah: Well, again, I think we
have to be very careful on how we look at the future. Again, people like to perceive
that Al Qaeda is just a threat to the West. I want to underline this threat to all Muslims.
I think that we all dodged a very difficult bullet when the hijacking or the attempt to
blow up the aircraft did not succeed. If it had been successful, the idea behind that
was to have a profound effect on the West and change America’s policies to the worse
in dealing with our part of the world. We are building bridges between societies and
between cultures, and what people like Al Qaeda want to do is try and destroy that.
They don’t want to see the Israelis and Palestinians solving their problems. They don’t want to
see different areas of our nations solving their problems and moving on with our societies.
They want conflict. Zakaria: But do they seem stronger or weaker
to you than five years ago? H.M. King Abdullah: From a purely tactical
point of view, one of the reasons why you are seeing them in Yemen and on the Horn of
Africa is because they have been very badly hurt in Afghanistan and Pakistan so they were
shifting to a different area. A year ago, I did warn people in the region and the West
that we could see the development of Al Qaeda trying to get a foothold on the Arab peninsula.
They have not been successful in their aims in Iraq, although they are still an effective
– unfortunately – element of creating instability in that country. So if
you look at their operations, if they are moving from area to area it is because they
have not been able to hold down where they are. Having said that, because again of the
Israeli-Palestinian issue they are a tremendous recruiting ground for the disenfranchised
youth that we have in the Middle East. And so that is a challenge that I think all countries
have to face. Zakaria: Why is it that there is still, though,
this cancer within the world of Islam? Any time there is a terrorist attack anywhere
in the world now, honestly you really don’t have to think about, you know, who did it
in the sense that what community that person came from. You know that it is some fanatical,
wrong-headed Muslim. What is it that has made it – and you know that so many people
say, ‘Why is it that moderates don’t condemn these attacks? Why is it that the world of
Islam allows this?’ What is your response to that? H.M. King Abdullah: I think moderates through
the Arab and Islamic world do condemn it. And not only just condemn it in words: in
actions. There has been the Amman message, which has reached between inter-faiths. We
have what is called the Common Word, which again is a Jordanian-inspired initiative to
bring Muslims and Christian communities closer together. We are working in our part of the
world, in Asia, in the West. We are also looking at the educational aspect of this, but again
I think I have to continue to underline that where do the disenfranchised youth move to?
The Israeli-Palestinian issue is such an emotional issue inside of Islam that everyone tries
to hijack it for very destructive ends. This is why it is so imperative for all of us to
solve this problem. Otherwise, we will always live under the shadow of terror and terror
is not something, as you well know, that Israelis are having to deal with; Arabs, Muslims, the
West are dealing with all because of the core issue of the Middle East, which is the Israeli-Palestinian
one, if we can solve that. Zakaria: You really believe that if you solve
the Israeli-Palestinian issue, you wouldn’t have some Nigerian fanatic who believes in
jihad who gets onto a plane? H.M. King Abdullah: You’re always going to
have extremists in every religion; you’re never going to be able to get rid of terrorism
because there’s always going to evil in the world. What I am saying is for evil to succeed
is for good men to do nothing. And I think that’s the challenge that we have. There is
no magic wand that solves that problem, but it’s not specific to Islam or Christianity
or Judaism or any other religion. Evil is always going to be out there, but it allows
us to create a new future for the people living in the region and allows us the tools to be
able to bring our religion back onto focus and strengthen the role of the silent majority,
that those extremists that have hijacked our religion have nothing to do with Islam. Zakaria: You know there are many people who
have an alternate theory of what is fuelling terror, and that is you know actually one
that was loosely associated with President Bush and his administration, expounded by
people like Bernard Lewis, the Princeton scholar, which is that it is the lack of any kind of
political openness in the Arab world that produces extreme opposition movements, that
produces the desire for jihad; that Al Qaeda began as a group that wanted to topple the
governments of Saudi Arabia and Egypt. It only later on latched itself to the Palestinian
cause, and that unless you have openness in the Arab world you will not be able to find
a way to avoid these extreme political movements. H.M. King Abdullah: No, listen, I think reform
is not something that you can wait until the Israeli-Palestinian issue is resolved. Jordan
as a prime example is embarking on reform, and I think that everybody in the Middle East
has its own pace of reform and I can’t be specific to how each country is dealing with
it, just to say that they all have a different challenge. We have the largest youth cohort
in history. We have 200 million young men and women that need jobs in the next several
years. If we don’t create a positive future where they have a role and a say in their
future, definitely we are going to have a major problem. I think the issues are interconnected,
but on the political, emotional issue don’t discount the Israeli-Palestinian one. Having
said that, there is a moral responsibility for all of us in the Arab world to move reform
in the right direction. Zakaria: But talk specifically about your
country, because you know Jordan is often characterized as a benign or an enlightened
dictatorship but it is still a pretty tough set of controls that you have in the country.
Will your son, when he succeeds you, be a constitutional monarch? H.M. King Abdullah: Jordan is going through
changes and will continue to go through changes. We are now calling for early elections so
that we have a new election law that gives much more transparency, much more participation,
and much greater quality of parliamentarians. And so I think where you have the issue that
democracy is going to happen through the ballot box, we have seen several cases in the Middle
East where actually it has gone the other way. We have to push the envelope and it comes
down to education, to empowerment, to a larger role in society. We are embarking on a major
programme, which I think will allow Jordanians to move democracy in the right direction and
Jordan has decentralizations. If you look at the Arab world, very strong central governments.
The programme that we have in Jordan now is to decentralize and give more power to the
people across the different governors. But again this is something that we realized through
experience can’t happen overnight. There’s the issue of capacity building also that they
are capable of being able to move their societies forward. So we are addressing all these issues.
It takes time and I wish it could move faster than it has been. I think when I look back
at the past 10 years, the reform aspect of our country, in many cases sometimes you take
two steps forward, one step back. There is resistance for change. There is a resistance
to ideas when we try to push the envelope. There are certain sectors of society that
say this is a Zionist plot to sort of destabilize our country, or this is an American agenda.
So it’s very difficult to convince people to move forward. I believe – Zakaria: What’s the end goal? Let me repeat
my final question, which was will your son be a constitutional monarch? Now, of course,
given your age that he’s going to wait for a long time, but at some point – I
mean Prince Charles hasn’t seen anything yet, it’s going to take a while, but at the point
he ascends the throne, what will Jordan look like? H.M. King Abdullah: I know exactly what you’re
saying, and what I’m trying to say is the way Jordan is today is not going to be the
Jordan of tomorrow. But having said that, how do you make that transition? If you look
at Europe by itself, there are several monarchies there. All have different strengths and weaknesses
in how they deal with the governments and with civil societies. The future that I see
of my country – and again, Europeans understand this – is for democracy
to move, I think, in our part of the world is the strengthening of the middle class.
10 years ago, I said my role is to be able to get food on the table. What I’m trying
to say by that is trying to create a vibrant, capable and effective middle class. The quicker
and stronger that we can be able to do this, the easier it is for political reform to move
forward. So from day one, my view has always been in strengthening our society and getting
Jordanians to have a much stronger role that then leads to political reform for the future
of my country. And that’s the only way that you can – monarchies have to adapt
and they have to move forward. But I think that’s all I can say now. It’s a partnership
between me and the people, of being able to move the society so that they’re capable of
moving democracy forward. And I know that Jordanians have it in them and have the capability,
and I hope that as we start with decentralization that’s going to move Jordan stronger. Zakaria: A final question. This is the 10th
year of your ascending the throne. Am I correct? In this period, you have really dramatically
transformed Jordan’s economy. It’s a country that has no natural resources and has been
growing steadily and strongly. What did you do and what has been most effective? What
is the lesson in terms of creating growth in countries like Jordan? H.M. King Abdullah: Well, first, don’t give
up. Don’t take no for an answer. There are members of my society that, when I say ‘Let’s
do something’, there’s a – I wish I could translate it into English – but
it’s ‘Tsk’. The Arabs will know what I mean when I say ‘Let’s move this sector of society’
– ‘Tsk, that’s never going to happen. We can’t find the money’. And I think that
has been the major challenge that I’ve had over the past 10 years. It is not to be intimidated
by the ‘Tsk’ that I get from society. And it takes, you know, we move forward. Sometimes
we get knocked down; you have to dust yourself off and just keep trying. I am not –
we, as Jordan, are not where I wanted it to be, but again there’s been a lot of regional
issues. But I am the type of person that wants everything today and not tomorrow. If I can
put it down to a single maybe – and I think this is relevant to the rest of the
Middle East – if you want to move Jordan and your countries forward, it comes down
to education, education, education. The incentive that you give to your youth is going to be
the make or break future of the country. I’ve got my good friend, the Crown Prince of Bahrain,
here. He’s moving his country, understanding I think the same language that we speak. There
is a core group of young countries that believe in that vision and the ability to move their
countries forward. I’m optimistic about the future, but we just can’t accept defeat and
no as an answer. Zakaria: Your Majesty, thank you very much.

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46 Comments

  1. Honest and brave… We trust u sir and we believe in you. Go forward and u have our support which originates for our belief in u…

  2. I am a jordanian…I have been making my mind back and forth about king abdullah…everytime I hear him talking I believe he is a good person…the problem is that what's happening in Jordan is a bit different than what he is saying…His majesty noted that at the end, the people around him are not helping…I think that's the reason behind the difference…the king is surrounded by a bunch of corrupts who he cannot replace easily…especially with the lack of parties…may god help him!

  3. Your Majesty we are behind you to the last breath in bringing justice and an honorable peace to the region and the world.

  4. remarkable statesman who shows no fear of any power no matter how influential,
    A smooth diplomat who ,armed with incredible visionary capabilities, can weigh in as a very powerful leader. I personally , think ,that the Arab leaders should rally behind King Abdullah.
    His Majesty, definetely makes himself very clearly understood to the western world.
    the Whole World understands only proper dictum ,proper English and forthrighness
    we need to move the Arab world in a new and brighter direction.

  5. A brilliant thinker who shows no fear of the unknown. A fine statesman who verbalises his thoughts with utmost precision. An exceptional diplomat who voices the Arab opinion,without bias or condescension.A leader who demonstrates true understanding of the issues and has the guts to face them,
    A doer , who, all Arab leaders should rally behind, because ,he articulates in proper dictum and proper English, the dreams and aspirations of all Arab people.
    we need to stand behind this winner

  6. Thanks uploader….it is wonderful interview
    i am proud of his majesty king Abdullah II Ibn Al Hussein our king of jordan

  7. This is an eye-opening/mind-opening discussion towards future possibilities. Predicting the future is very tricky and very much probabilistic rather than being deterministic.

    Brainstorming future scenarios is very helpful, but the more we go into the future, the more "wilder" options rise.

    It is not easy for those completely consumed by daily operational/tactical activities to leap into the future and think/plan strategically for the next 25 years, 50 years, or even 100 years.

  8. # thewinterchill, yes i agree with u that the king does not reflect the majority of the public sentiment but i am telling u he reflects the voices of so many Jordanians, and i mean so many. the good news is that the no. of people interested in peace is increasing rapidly lately where more and more people are interested in real peace with Israel. We want peace built on mutual respect, understanding and opportunities. This is the real challenge, working on the attitudes of people twrds peace.

  9. Why are we in the USA unable to solve our economic woes? Because God is against the prosperity of a nation that routinely slaughters 25% of it's unborn.

  10. @hassankalaldeh I really think that King Abdullah is an intelligent person. But he is a little naive if he thinks that the threat from Iran will dissapear if the Israeli-Palestinian conflict would be solved. By supporting Hezbollah and Hamas, Iran is obviously taking part in the conflict itself!

  11. This man is Smart he understands that Education is the future for the youth. Love listening to him speak. May Jordan succeed in its aspirations.

    Knowledge is Power!

  12. @The1Kidneythief

    There is no threat from Iran, this is Zionist and western propaganda. There is however a severe threat from the West and Israel to Iran's national security. Please read some books by scholars such as William Blum and Norman Finkelstein, unfortunately you are very ill-informed like most westerners.

  13. What a welcoming host!!! impolite;arrogant and tasteless…this americanized guy from inda or pakistan i think(not that important) is just a zero.but abdullah also is too humble (to good be true)…

  14. STop bullshiting yourself man, jordan is nothing but your own milk cow for you personal joy!!! like you have a real society project!!!

  15. He dodges so many questions. Like he won't answer whether Al Qaeda is stronger now or not. He stutters so much!

    But he's probably the best Arab leader.

  16. Actually, he really wants to transform jordan into a england's style constitutional monarchy but he cannot do it like flipping hand since the situation in that area is hard to predict, but soon in 2 – 3 years jordan will be a country where the king is a only symbol

    i hope you have the great life and reign long your majesty

  17. Get ready oh brave people of Jordan to rid yourselves of this Cockaroach little king who allows for a DEATH HOUSE{ Israeli ambassy} to be bult on your land while the Israeli people have been slaughtering Palestine children and stealing their land for the past 60+ years

  18. Haha, what a joke. This guy doesnt ask him the real questions.
    For example: What does he think about democracy and elections?

    Dont be fooled by his smile, he is the same as Assad, Bin Ali, Saddam etc.

  19. King Abdullah is one of the few leaders of the region who understands the Western mentality. He is a military man, who improved his country's army greatly. He went to one of the top military academies in the world, and he studied Middle Eastern political sciences in one of the top US schools, and so, he understands the western mentality. He is one of the few leaders in the region that can see the place were Arabs and Israelis can find a medium solution that satisfies both parties.

  20. king Abdullah is a great King in the Middle East region, he respects his people and the Palestinians also. Zakaria is correct as Jordan is moving forward steadily and strongly while it doesn't have any resources. I love you your majesty. Go on

  21. I like King Abdullah….He sounds very knowledgeable and has got an incredibly difficult job trying to help the poor palestinians , keep out fundamentalists and keep Israel da hell outta Jordans business . He's a leader in the most intense and explosive region of the world these days and I don't envy him for the difficult decisions he has to make all the time . Good man and cool dude , lol , anyway =)

  22. You can't blame King Abdullah for the past and his ancestors were important ppl and had as much right to rule as Ottoman King or Brit Kings .Who cares about the IMPERIALIST OTTOMANS also ? They never gave a crap about Jordanians or anyone they ruled and who the hell said they could rule foreigners anyway , they were as bad as Brit empire .His accents English cuz he's educated at Sandhurst military college and it's absurd saying he's a Brit tool lol Brits have NO influence in Jordan at all IDIOT

  23. That's because his mother is English and part of his schooling took place in the UK. They say his English is better than his Arabic, but I don't know whether that is true or not.

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