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Jordanian king backs terror fight

King Abdullah is on a state visit to Britain  

LONDON, England (CNN) -- Jordan's King Abdullah has repeated his backing for continued military strikes against Afghanistan during Ramadan.

At a news conference with British Prime Minister Tony Blair he distanced himself from Pakistan president Pervez Musharraf who says a continuation of bombing to during Ramadan would send "negative fallout to the entire Muslim world."

"All of us would like to see the situation in Afghanistan brought to a conclusion sooner rather than later," said the king.

"But we have to remember that there are specific military objectives which have to be achieved. We hope and pray they will be achieved as quickly as possible."

Earlier King Abdullah spoke to Britain's Houses of Parliament saying Jordan stood "shoulder to shoulder" with the world community in the fight against terrorism.

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In a speech at the UK Houses of Parliament, he called the events of September 11 "evil" and said that moderate Muslims backed the anti-terror fight.

The king also called for Israel to keep to its commitments in the Middle East, calling for a Palestinian state and saying that he welcomed the support of U.S. President George W. Bush on the issue.

Blair told the joint news conference that the action against terrorism was not conditional on the Middle East peace progress.

But he added: "We recognise that absence of progress is the context in which much of the Arab and Muslim world views the whole international crisis.

"It is important for us to try and bring about a resolution. We need to get the minimum steps to try and calm this situation and gain some albeit small amount of trust building on either side so we can find the room in which a process can move again."

Earlier Abdullah told MPs in a committee room at the House of Commons that it was time the anti-terrorist coalition "worked together as effectively as the terrorists do."

IN-DEPTH: Middle East struggle for peace 

He said the terrorists were organised on a global level, knew how to cooperate and stayed focused on their destructive objectives.

He said: "As we fight against terror we must rid the world of the breeding grounds for hatred and mistrust. This means a different type of war.

"There is a military dimension which must be exercised with caution but always with unflinching resolve.

"Even more important will be the role we play by other means -- economic measures, diplomacy and the free flow of truth."

Palestinian state

On the Middle East, King Abdullah told MPs there was now "a unique opportunity" to forge a comprehensive and just solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

"The need to act quickly is urgent. (Terrorists) feed on despair and injustice like jackals stalk a victim.

"Our goal must be nothing less than a just and comprehensive resolution with a state of Palestine and a state of Israel coexisting side by side."

He said Jordan had a peace treaty with Israel and recognised an Israel's right to statehood but without Israel's withdrawal from all occupied territories "there can never be a just and lasting resolution to the conflict in our region."


• British parliament
• British monarchy
• King Hussein tribute

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