Tags: Jordan | Backs | Bush | 'Axis | Evil'

Jordan Backs Bush on 'Axis of Evil'

Friday, 01 February 2002 12:00 AM

Bush and Abdullah met at the White House, where the two leaders discussed the Mideast crisis and the president's designation of

Abdullah's statements were significant because Jordan had sided with Iraq during the Gulf War a decade ago. The leader said he believed Bush had been clear on his position with regards to the coalition.

"I think the president has been very articulate from the beginning of the 11th of September that there is a new world, there's a new expectation of how countries are supposed to react. And those countries better make up their minds pretty quickly. I endorse that view and that position," Abdullah said.

Bush said nations that continued to traffic in weapons of mass destruction would be making a wrong choice. "I hope nations make the right decision. A wrong decision would be to continue to export weapons of mass destruction," Bush said, referring to North Korea, Iran and Iraq.

Earlier in the day, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright told NBC's "Today" that Bush had made a mistake by "lumping" the three countries together. Albright, who led the State Department for then-President Bill Clinton, said the countries were different from each other, and though talks on North Korea's weapon's program had gone nowhere, the United States had a "verifiable agreement" to stop the export of weapons from that country.

On the Middle East, Bush made reference to Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat, saying "a significant shipment of arms" allegedly ordered from Iran and being smuggled into the region by sea was intended for "terrorist purposes." Bush said that this was not in line with Arafat's promises to fight terrorism. Israeli soldiers found the weapons being moved across the Red Sea in early January.

"We cannot let that stand," Bush said.

Palestinian Authority officials Thursday accused Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon of planning to assassinate Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, a charge Middle East analysts thought unlikely.

The Palestinian accusations were sparked by a recent remark by Sharon that he regretted not killing Arafat in 1982 when Israel invaded Lebanon and fought the Palestine Liberation Organization.

Sharon is to meet Bush in Washington next week. It will be his fourth visit with Bush in less than a year.

In his meeting with Secretary of State Colin Powell on Thursday, Abdullah said he believed the Israelis and the Palestinians were tired of the cycle of violence.

"When I speak about frustration, I speak about frustrations of the Palestinian people, but at the same time, I know that the majority of Israelis want to find an exit," Abdullah said.

"I mean, at the end of the day, let's forget about the politics and the leadership. The people - I believe the majority of Israelis and Palestinians are just sick and tired of the cycle of violence and want a way out," Abdullah said.

Copyright 2002 by United Press International.

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Bush and Abdullah met at the White House, where the two leaders discussed the Mideast crisis and the president's designation of Abdullah's statements were significant because Jordan had sided with Iraq during the Gulf War a decade ago. The leader said he believed Bush had...
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2002-00-01
Friday, 01 February 2002 12:00 AM
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