SHAFAQNA – His Majesty King Abdullah has said that the destruction of Daesh, or ISIS, should be everybody’s priority, reiterating that the war against terror remains a “Third World War” with different means, spearheaded by the Muslims.
In an interview with Australia-based ABC network, conducted by Tony Jones for the “Lateline” show, His Majesty said that unless the world looks at the challenge of terrorism in a global, holistic approach, victory is far-fetched.
“… Even if you see now pressures on Syria and on Iraq for ISIS, we have seen, for the past year, commanders going to Libya. So if we’re going to wait a year or two until we deal with Libya, and if you’re successful in Libya, it’s going to put pressure down on the Boko Haram and the Shabab aspects in East and West Africa, and then we’ll think: oh well, we’ll talk to the Africans two years from now; we’re never going to get this right,” His Majesty said as he started a state visit to Australia (see full text).
The King also reiterated that the civil war within Islam is led by moderate Muslims who fight extremists, but they need help from all other nations to ensure victory.
He warned that a Shiite-Sunni conflict inside of the Middle East is opening Pandora’s box.
“I mean, the fault line between Shiites and Sunnis goes from, you know, Beirut to Bombay, so that’s one last thing that we need. At this point, we need to concentrate against what we call khawarij, the outlaws of Islam.”
However, King Abdullah accused Iran of playing a role in inciting sectarian conflict in the area.
“When you look at the Iranians, they have several cards that they play, so one of them is the nuclear card, one of them is the card that I just mentioned: They do support organisations that sometimes are considered terrorist in nature. So I think when you look at Iran, you have to look at it in its totality; and, again, it’s too early for us to understand where the new American policy is going to be on that. Everybody’s going to have their opinion, but I think we’ve got to keep it in the bigger-picture aspect of things.”
On Syria, the King said that those who understand Syria realise that there cannot be a solution without the Russians.
“So at this stage, we have to wait to see what is the US strategy, how they’re going to deal with the Russians; I think this is what is on everybody’s mind”.
“What we all hope is, as the new administration comes in and it sets itself and its strategy, that there is some synergy. At the end of the day, we’re dealing with a global terror problem — a new ‘Third World War’ by other means as I said — not post-Cold War, where I had a feeling that there was more hatred between Moscow and Washington than there was against the extremists that we’re dealing with globally. I hope that changes, because the priority is, actually, against this global threat,” the King said.
On Donald Trump’s presidency, whether it would be a game-changer in the Middle East, King Abdullah said it will definitely change the status quo of a lot of issues.
“We’ll have to see how the transition team comes along and what their view of our part of the world, but also the rest of the world, so it’s not just, I think, people in our region that are sort of waiting with bated breath; I think everybody is.”
His Majesty noted that he has had a “good talk” with the president-elect and that Amman has good contacts with his team.
“I have had the opportunity to speak to President-elect Donald Trump last week. The synergy was very good in the phone-call conversation. I know many members of the transitional team and, obviously, America is also built on institutions, so there will be some changes in policy, but I don’t think to the extent that everybody’s panicking about, so let’s give them the benefit of the doubt at this stage”.