Jordan's King Abdullah said Sunday the problems in the Middle East go beyond the war in
Iraq and that much of the region soon could become engulfed in violence unless the central issues are addressed quickly.
"We could possibly imagine going into 2007 and having three civil wars on our hands," he said, citing conflicts in Iraq, Lebanon and the decades-long strife between the Palestinians and Israelis.
Abdullah said it is natural that Americans, with troops fighting in Iraq, view that war as the major problem in the Middle East.
"But, for the majority of us living in this part of the world, it has always been the Israeli-Palestinian, Israeli-Arab problem. I fear that if we do not use the next couple of months to really be able to push the process forward, I don't believe that there will be anything to talk about."
Unless something is done soon to lower the tension, he said, the two-state solution of
Israel and an independent Palestinian state existing side by side becomes less a possibility.
"If we don't solve the Israeli-Palestinian problem then how can we ever solve the Israeli-Arab problem?" he said. "Do we resign this whole region to another decade or two of violence?"