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Clear priorities

Nov 24,2016 - Last updated at Nov 24,2016

His Majesty King Abdullah’s televised interview with Australia’s ABC network, granted during his working visit to this country, outlined once again what the priority should be for the international community in its fight against terrorism.

The “global, holistic” approach to destroying Daesh is the only guarantee that this group that sprouts heads like Hydra is terminated, and the world “gets this right”, said the King who stresed that the fight against Daesh is a “Third World War” with different means due to the fact that the terrorist organisation and its ilk spread physically to various geographic regions of the world and ideologically to an even wider area.

This means the international community cannot fight terrorism in one part of the world and ignore it elsewhere. The fight must be total, decisive and global because the threat is widespread and interrelated.

One other serious problem in the Middle East is the “fault line” between Shiites and Sunnis. 

It is a conflict that could open Pandora’s box, warned the King, “one last thing that we need”. 

“At this point, we need to concentrate against what we call khawarij, the outlaws of Islam,” said King Abdullah, also drawing attention to Iran’s incitement to sectarian conflict and its playing the “nuclear card”, which makes it incumbent on the international community to look at Iran “in its totality”. 

On Syria, the King could not have been clearer.

Considering the realities in this war-torn country, it is inconceivable that the conflict can be brought to an end without the direct participation and cooperation of Russia.

Moscow is now the major actor on the Syrian scene and the new American administration needs to acknowledge that and forego the Cold War mentality, advised the King.

His Majesty also expressed hope about President-elect Donald Trump with whom he recently held a “good talk” and “the synergy was very good in the phone-call conversation”.

While acknowledging that Trump’s presidency will be a game changer in the Middle East, the King also reminded the world that the US is built on institutions and the new US administration should be given the benefit of the doubt at this stage.


Back to terrorism, the world must listen to His Majesty’s counsel. He has been consistently right in his diagnosis of the terrorist threat across the globe and what needs to be done to combat it.

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