Jordan’s King Abdullah warns Iran tensions could devastate global economy

Any further conflict risked fuelling worldwide terrorism, he cautioned

Jordanian King Abdullah II gestures as he delivers a speech at the European Parliament, on January 15, 2020, in Strasbourg, eastern France. / AFP / Frederick FLORIN
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Any further tension between the United States in Iran could send shockwaves through the global economy and see a rise in terrorism across the world, King Abdullah of Jordan warned.

In a speech to the European Parliament he said a more peaceful world would be impossible without a stable Middle East – which in itself relied on an end to hostilities between Palestinians and Israelis.

“Now, fast forward to the most recent standoff between the United States and Iran. What if, next time, neither side steps away from the brink, dragging us all towards untold chaos,” he said in a speech to the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France.

“An all-out war jeopardises the stability of the entire region. What’s more, it risks massive disruptions of the entire global economy, including markets, but threatens a resurgence of terrorism across the world.”

The Jordanian King said the Arab world needed to recognise that more than 60 million jobs needed to be created for the youth in the coming decade.

“And if we fail, wouldn't we in fact be creating a perfect setting for extremist groups? We make their job of recruitment easier if we leave behind a trail of vulnerability and hopelessness,” he said.

King Abdullah described the Palestinian-Israeli conflict as “our region’s deepest wound,” as he laid out what a potential one-state solution could look like.

“Seventy-plus years of conflict have played havoc with hopes for justice. Today, one-staters are actively seeking to impose an unthinkable solution on the region and the world—one state, propped up by structural inequalities, with Palestinians as second-class subjects; one state, turning its back on its neighbourhood, perpetuating divisions among peoples and faiths worldwide.

“Five years ago, I stood in this Chamber and spoke of the dangers of failing to move forward with peace. And today, I must say frankly that the dangers have grown—violence continues; settlement-building continues; disregard for international law continues.”

King Abdullah is on a visit to mainland Europe and on Wednesday held talks with EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on the political and security developments in the Middle East.

On Tuesday, Nato chief Jens Stoltenberg said Jordan was one of the alliance’s closest global partners amid the fight against terror.