US-Iran war would bring ‘untold chaos’ warns Jordan’s King Abdullah II

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Jordanian King Abdullah II arrives to deliver a speech at the European Parliament on Jan. 15, 2020 in Strasbourg, eastern France. (AFP)
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Updated 15 January 2020

US-Iran war would bring ‘untold chaos’ warns Jordan’s King Abdullah II

  • The king warned of the re-emergence of Daesh in Iraq and Syria
  • He also said failure to resolve the Israel-Palestinian conflict endangers world peace

STRASBOURG, France: A war between the US and Iran would wreak “untold chaos” on the world, Jordan’s King Abdullah II warned Wednesday, in a speech to European lawmakers on the tensions boiling across the Middle East.
Although Washington and Tehran are currently in a standoff after tit-for-tat military actions over the past two weeks, the king told the European Parliament that the danger has not passed.
“What if next time neither side steps back from the brink, dragging us all toward untold chaos? An all-out war jeopardizes the stability of the entire region,” he said.





“What’s more, it risks massive disruptions of the entire global economy including markets, but threatens a resurgence of terrorism across the world.”
The alarm was among a raft of other warnings by King Abdullah, a pro-Western leader whose country is a haven of relative stability in a Middle East roiled by proxy conflicts, sectarian violence and competition between powers inside and outside the region.
Urging greater leadership and “patience” to address the tensions, Abdullah expressed concern about developments in Syria and Iraq.
“What if Syria remains hostage to global rivalries and spirals back into civil conflict? What if we see a reemergence of Daesh and Syria becomes a staging ground for attacks against the rest of the world?” he asked, using an alternative acronym for Daesh.
Turmoil in Iraq, he said, risked tipping that country into a cycle of “recovery and relapse — or, worse yet, conflict.”
He also homed in on Libya, one of the biggest foreign policy issues facing the EU along with Iran.
“What if Libya collapses into an all-out war, and ultimately a failed state? What if Libya is the new Syria, just much closer to the continent you all call home?” he asked, saying such scenarios needed to be addressed now to prevent them becoming reality.




Jordanian King Abdullah II warned the European Parliament against one-state solution and said failure to resolve the Israel-Palestinian conflict endangers world peace. (AFP)

The Jordanian monarch, who carries the hereditary title of “custodian” of holy Muslim and Christian sites in Jerusalem, also stressed to MEPs that Israel was trying to “impose an unthinkable solution” over Palestinians as hopes fade for a two-state solution backed by the international community.
He said Israel’s construction of settlements in occupied Palestinian territory and “disregard of international law” could be summed up as “one state turning its back on its neighborhood, perpetuating divisions among peoples and faiths worldwide.”


Images of starving lions in Sudan zoo spark global concern

Updated 2 min 23 sec ago

Images of starving lions in Sudan zoo spark global concern

  • “This is actually a crime,” a local activist said, adding that the park once teemed with animals

KHARTOUM: At an impoverished, forlorn zoo in Sudan’s capital, the park’s few remaining lions are starving in rusted cages — their ribs protruding, eyes glassy and skin flaccid, desperate for food and water.
The unsettling images, shared on social media by a local animal rights advocate, drew impassioned responses from thousands around the world. But it wasn’t enough to save two lionesses at the Khartoum zoo, said local activist Zuhair Al-Sarag.
“This is actually a crime,” he said, adding that the park once teemed with animals. “Someone should be held accountable.”
With the staff at the destitute Al-Qurashi Park, as the zoo in Khartoum is known, unable to feed and look after the animals, many have died off or were evacuated, leaving only three skeletal lions, including a lioness.
Locals concerned about the fate of the lions flocked to help recently, bringing food and medical items, despite the economic crisis gripping the country. Soaring food prices in Sudan triggered a mass protest movement last year that convulsed the large African country, ultimately ousting longtime autocrat Omar Al-Bashir in April.
Months later, a civilian-military transitional council replaced Al-Bashir’s rule, and inherited its problems, including $60 billion in debt, rebellions in far-flung provinces and the country’s longtime status as a global pariah.
Price hikes and economic hardship have caused animals to suffer, too.
“Many international organizations are willing to help” the lions, including an emergency rescue group expected in Sudan soon, said Osman Mohamed Salih, the first activist who appealed for help online.
While many abroad have tried to donate via crowdfunding sites, Salih noted that US sanctions on Sudan have prevented the zoo from receiving funds through popular platforms, such as GoFundMe. There was no immediate response from GoFundMe.
Sudanese Prime Minister Abdullah Hamdok, formerly a World Bank economist, has made it his mission to get the United States to drop its designation of Sudan as a state sponsor of terrorism, so that the country can attract badly needed foreign aid and investment. The economic troubles are testing the government during its fragile transition to democracy.
“Despite all of this, the marathon of recovery, healing and redevelopment ... continues,” Salih, the activist, wrote on Facebook.
On Wednesday, he shared a photograph of the remaining lioness after volunteers had brought food, saying she was making “beautiful progress.”