The Quest for Peace

A Better Future for the Peoples of the Region

We quarrel, we agree; we are friendly, we are not friendly. But we have no right to dictate through irresponsible action or narrow-mindedness the future of our children and their children’s children. There has been enough destruction, enough death, enough waste, and it’s time that, together, we occupy a place beyond ourselves, our peoples, that is worthy of them under the sun, the descendants of the children of Abraham.

Address at the Signing of the Wye Memorandum
Washington, DC
October 23, 1998


The challenge, I believe, before us is: have we spent too much of life to be able to change, to be able to learn? Or is the challenge to do so even if it meant doing so from our children. It is for them that we’ll work. It is for their better future that we struggle. It is for peace. It is for the Holy Land to once again inspire the world with the message of God, our one God. And it is for peace to come between the descendants of the Children of Abraham that we will do our utmost for as long as life.

Address to Representatives of the German Media
Baden Baden, Germany
April 24, 1998


We believe that peace is not just signed papers, but rather a contract between generations for the building of a more promising and less threatening future.

Letter to Prime Minister Abdel Salaam al-Majali
December 4, 1997


The sort of peace in which we believe, and which we pursue, is comprehensive, just, and lasting. It would enable the peoples of the region to realize total development, to improve their standard of living in the framework of stability, and to live in security and dignity. This is the peace which the peoples make, and defend with conviction.

Address to Mo’tah University
Karak, Jordan
May, 1996


For too long, many in this region have treated politics and economics as a zero-sum game, where “victors” reap all the gains while the region spins its wheels aimlessly. At last, this world view has begun to be eclipsed by the idea that real and lasting progress must be rewarding for all. To thrive and bear fruit, true peace must bring justice and benefit to all parties. Likewise, healthy economic development entails openness and cooperation in the creation of prosperity. Jordan is at the forefront of this revolution.

Foreword, Business and Investment Opportunities 1996
Advanced Marketing Group, 1996


But the peace which we seek must be accompanied by sincere and persistent efforts in social and economic development, so that the peoples of the region may overcome the negative effects of decades of conflict, and realize the importance of peace through tangible and positive change in their standards of living.

Address to the Middle East and North Africa Economic Summit
October 29, 1995


Peace is not just the signing of treaties. The signatories must have a genuine commitment to all that peace implies: the free movement of people, goods and ideas across frontiers; the shared commitment to resolve common problems, and to respect one another’s interests. There must be a shared consensus of common values, respect for human rights and basic freedoms, equality between all citizens, and, above all, the right of children to food, clothing, education and freedom from fear.

Address to the Parliamentary Assemby of the Council of Europe
Strasbourg, France
September 25, 1995


We look forward with confidence to a future, when the words “Arab”-”Israeli” no longer evoke images of strife. We hope to see the Middle East evoke, as in the past, images of human relations and accomplishments in science, technology, medicine, industry and the arts. As much as our goals are ambitious, the struggle to achieve them has always been challenging. To achieve our objectives, we must produce deep transformations in our societies.

Address to the Museum of Peace and Tolerance (Simon Wiesenthal Center)
Los Angeles
March 24, 1995


We in Jordan have always sought a bold peace. We have been conscious of our responsibilities towards the coming generations—to ensure that they will have the certainty of leading a dignified and fulfilled life. We have sought a peace that can harness their creative energies, to allow them to realize their true potential, and build their future with confidence, devoid of fear and uncertainty.

Address to the Joint Session of the US Congress
Washington, DC
July 26, 1994


It should never be forgotten that peace resides ultimately not in the hands of governments, but in the hands of the people. For unless peace can be made real to the men, women and children of the Middle East, the best efforts of negotiators will come to naught.

Address to the Joint Session of the US Congress
Washington, DC
July 26, 1994


Indeed, it will be the most precious gift we can bequeath—in case of success—to the coming generations which dream of a decent life where all capabilities would be directed towards constructive work under conditions of stability—for which we have yearned for a long time. This blessed region could well become the springboard for a new hope and positive radiance which our nation will have had a large hand in bringing about. From this hallowed land could emanate to the whole of humanity a unifying torch bringing all the faithful together in the service of righteousness and peace.

Address to the Nation
October 12, 1993


Peace is essential to us in leading a normal life, which is the legitimate right of every individual, in order to dream, plan for oneself, and for the future of one's family, to raise one's standard of living away from fear, worry and confusion. It is also the legitimate right of each nation in order to develop and progress free from threat, thus preventing the exhaustion of the country's capabilities and resources. We have been discussing the peace issue for a long time. We have made it a symbol for a better life for future generations. In the light of the developments of the Palestinian problem with all the pain, complications and sacrifices that entailed to our steadfast homeland, peace has become a national objective that we have striven to attain, and a political strategic foundation upon which to proceed.

Address to the Jordanian National Congress
October 12, 1991


In the final analysis, however, it is individual human beings who will be the ultimate beneficiaries of peace and stability. We must not leave future generations a legacy of fear. We must eradicate the conditions that create a fertile ground for terrorism in all its manifestations. We must enable the peoples of the Middle East to look forward, not back. None of this will be possible in the absence of peace and a humanistic outlook.

Address at the University of Ottawa
Ottawa, Canada
October 11, 1989


Nothing is more useless in developing a nation’s economy than a gun, and nothing blocks the road to social development more than the financial burden of war. War is the arch enemy of national progress and the modern scourge of civilized men.

Address at Tulane University
New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
April 2, 1976