We would like to find a solution to our dispute with Ahmed Chalabi. This is what Jalal Talabani has asked us and we are trying to find a solution. The problem is it is not a political dispute but an economic one; he owes money to the Jordanian people, not to his government. Therefore, a compensation for Jordanians must be agreed.
I think that, in the end, Iraq will succeed and will become an independent and competent country. The Iraqis have become much more mature during these last months. The decisive element was the January 30 elections, an event that exceeded my expectations. The real barometer of the situation in Iraq will be the elections in December, after the drafting of the Constitution. Partly, the insurrection is due to foreign elements although there are also members of the Baas Party and of Saddam Hussein security services. These groups must be isolated in the Sunnite society by convincing it of participating in the future of the country. I think we will succeed and there will be no civil war.
I think Bush government’s policy in favor of democracy is useful for it favors the debate. In Jordan, we are immersed in a process of reform and we speed them up. Regarding Lebanon, I think that, above all, the country must belong to the Lebanese people and I welcome the Syrian withdrawal. Damascus understood the situation had changed.
I feel optimistic regarding the Israeli-Palestinian problem but what will happen after the withdrawal from Gaza and the “road map” must be specified. I talked about this with George W. Bush and we agreed the foundation of a Palestinian state is feasible. Mahmoud Abbas is doing his best on terrorism but he needs help. The Israeli must do something. Providing economic assistance to the Palestinians is the best way to reduce the influence of Hamas. If the Israeli-Palestinian problem is solved, recruiting people from the Arab world would be more difficult for terrorists.
«In the End, ’Iraq Will Succeed’», by Abdallah de Jordanie, Washington Post, May 21, 2005. This text has been adapted from an interview.