King Abdullah Warns Israel to Start Preparing Further Pullbacks

While his country hosts a conference on terrorism, peace and other world problems, Jordan's King Abdullah warns Israel not to suffice with a retreat from Gaza.

, | updated: 12:54

Close to 30 Nobel laureates and international figures have gathered in Petra, Jordan for a conference focusing on the world's major problems, including terrorism, poverty, disease, and environment.

Among the dignitaries at the two-day conference are Associate Prime Minister Shimon Peres, ex-U.S. President Bill Clinton, and the Dalai Lama. The group also includes prominent economists, scientists, writers and even actors. The conference is jointly sponsored by Jordan's King Abdullah and Elie Weisel's New York-based Foundation for Humanity.

As the leaders gather to discuss terrorism, world peace and other issues, host King Abdullah issued a warning today that Israel had better not suffice with a withdrawal just from Gaza. He said that if Israel does not also soon withdraw from areas in Judea and Samaria, "the peace process will be impeded." He made the statements to the Al-Ayam newspaper in London.

Peres met with Abdullah yesterday, and said that Israel should begin negotiating with the PA immediately after the Gaza pullback. This contrasts with Prime Minister Sharon's position, which is that Israel will wait to see if the PA fulfills its Road Map commitments. Peres also said that the PA must begin immediately improving the economic status of its residents in Gaza.