Hussein Reaffirms Commitment to Peace in Mideast


Five months after signing a peace agreement with Israel, King Hussein of Jordan said in Beverly Hills on Saturday that he is committed to continuing “a new era of peace-building . . . to replace the psychological legacy of war.”

Hussein’s speech before the World Affairs Council concluded a two-day stay in Los Angeles that was described as historic because of the king’s visit to the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Museum of Tolerance, making him the first Arab ruler to tour an exhibition on the Holocaust.

The 59-year-old king acknowledged the considerable pressure in Jordan and throughout the Mideast to scuttle peace with Israel. He said such sentiments have their roots in general dismay and poor living conditions in many Arab states.


“Wherever these forces gain strength, they do so because radicalism finds a fertile soil in discontent and hopelessness,” Hussein said. “Our fight against them is our fight against poverty, unemployment and social exclusion.”

In his speech to about 700 people, the king said: “We have sought to fulfill our duty to our citizens by a dual approach that aims at institutionalizing our democratic process and pursuing an ambitious program of economic and social development.”