Queen Noor Speaks on Peace Talks

Jordanian Monarch Says Arab-Israeli Negotiations Must Continue

The road to peace in the Middle East is tinged with hope and frustration. Yet dialogues between Arab and Israeli leaders must continue for the region to ever realize its greatness, said Her Majesty Queen Noor of Jordan at the Kennedy School of Government yesterday.

Speaking before an ethnically diverse audience, the Queen lamented tensions that still persist in the region and warned that negotiations are in danger of collapsing entirely.

"Our first and most urgent challenge is to complete the Arab-Israeli peace process without delay. Today's tensions are especially troubling because of increased expectations in response to recent progress," she told the overflow audience.

Queen Noor expressed anxiety over what she called the present Israeli government's tendency to undermine agreements made by previous administrations.

Setbacks have highlighted the peace process' fragile nature and "shaken our belief that the peace process is irreversible," she said.


"The danger of the peace process collapsing entirely is real," the Queen said.

The wife of King Hussein of Jordan, Queen Noor was born into an Arab-American family and was an undergraduate at Princeton University.

In his introduction, Dean of the Kennedy School Joseph P. Nye said Queen Noor's knowledge of Western culture has helped with her efforts to promote international understanding.

Queen Noor also discussed the Jordanian government's attempts to reform its nation's social and political institutions, saying she hoped to "accelerate the transition from wasteful militarism to productive economic development."

Some considered the Queen's remarks, which drew a standing ovation from the audience, predictable.

"She was very diplomatic. As a Palestinian, I think she would have loved to say a lot more, but within the confines of politics she can't," said local architect Omar F. Albadri.

Kennedy School student Jessica C. Randall said she appreciated hearing an Arab's perspective on the Middle East.

"It's very interesting for the Har- vard community to hear a speaker on the Middle East who isn't American or Israeli," Randall said.

Queen Noor's visit coincides with Arab-Israeli discussions at Harvard. The Harvard Students for Israel and the Harvard-Radcliffe Society of Arab Students met Sunday for brunch and hope to continue meeting frequently, their members have said.

Hillel chair David J. Andorsky '97 said he was impressed by Queen Noor's passionate appeal for peace.

Andorsky said her emphasis on inter-personal contact between Arabs and Israelis resonates with the recent developments in the Harvard community, though he added he disagrees with Queen's "one-sided" depiction of Israel's role in peace negotiations.

"There has been foot-dragging on both sides for many years," he said

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