Highlights of King Abdullah’s interview With David Gregory

On dealing with Bush:

“I think he was dedicated to moving the process forward.  I think I was getting frustrated with the team that didn’t have a sense of urgency. “

On Agreeing with bush that in 2008 “Despite these frustrations and disappointments, the Middle East in 2008 is a freer, more hopeful and more promising place than it was in 2001.”:

Yes, but nowhere near what we need as the endgame.  I mean, it’s all relative at the end of the day.  Until you solve the problem, you’re going to get an up and down on how free or stable it is.  But we still haven’t solved the core issue.  So you can’t say that, that the, the future for the Middle East is any brighter.  Unless we solve the core issue of the Israeli-Palestinian, Israeli-Arab challenges, then we will always be an area of instability that costs all of us.

On the image of the United States in the middle east today:

Fantastic.

On torture as reported by Human Rights watch:

I–when that report came out, or when I was asked that question I think by one of your colleagues several years ago, I went straight back to my director of intelligence at the time and I said, “Is there any foundations to this?” And he said categorically no.  And I made it quite clear to him and all the colleagues that have come up the ranks since then that we don’t tolerate that.  So I’d like to think that my people were telling me the truth.

On nuclear proliferation:

I would imagine that when it comes to an economy that is suffering, like many economies are suffering around the world, a nuclear military program is extremely expensive. And if you’ve solved the core issue in the Middle East, I think a lot of leaders will be sort of checking their calculators to see whether it’s worth to go down the military nuclear road.

On his upcoming book “The Last best chance”:

…what I’m trying to do with this book is to explain the dynamics have changed in the Middle East, and really this is our last best chance.  What my late father was saying is that then there was a major opportunity slipping past.  And I think 40 years later how many wars, how much death and destruction, how many Israelis, Arabs and Muslims have lost their lives.  Are we prepared to go another decade?  And believe you me, if we do not solve the problem today of the Israelis and Palestinians, it’s only going to be a matter of time of another conflict.

On the gifts he gave to obama:

I think the president is prepared for battle, and basically he knows that he has somebody standing next to him on his right and helping him through this.

The transcript can be found here.

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