Jordan King accuses US of engaging in torture

April 25th, 2009 - 3:24 pm ICT by ANI  

Barack Obama Washington, Apr.25 (ANI): Jordan’s King Abdullah II has said in an American TV interview that there is enough evidence available to suggest that the United States had engaged in torture, a topic that has turned into a political firestorm since the release last week of Bush-era interrogation memos.

Abdullah, when asked in an interview with NBC News if he thought the U.S. had tortured, was quoted by Fox News as saying such accounts suggest “that is the case,” calling the CIA’s controversial interrogation techniques “illegal ways of dealing with detainees.”

“But there is still a major battle out there,” he said, adding that he thought President Obama was making improvements to the American legal system.

The interview, to air Sunday on “Meet the Press,” comes after Abdullah called on the United States to support peace between Israel and the Palestinians, and both sides are already testing President Barack Obama’s resolve.

Abdullah, who talked Mid East peace with Obama at the White House earlier in the week, said the United States should have a peace plan “for 2009 and beyond,” in which negotiations produce clear and quick results.

“Now is the time for the United States to lead,” Abdullah said. He warned that time is running out to establish a viable independent Palestinian state alongside Israel. That is the goal all sides have embraced and the outline of a deal is clear, but it will take determination and a push from Washington to make it happen, Abdullah said in an address at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

“The status quo is simply untenable,” Abdullah said.

The memos released last week by the Obama administration are from 2002 and 2005 and detail legal justification for the CIA’s interrogation techniques used on terror suspects after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on New York City and the Pentagon.

Obama plans to invite the Israeli, Palestinian and Egyptian leaders to the White House in the coming weeks for separate discussions on Middle East peace.

Abdullah welcomed what he called early signals from Obama that he will make Middle East peace a priority.

The White House named a special peace envoy but has made no bold moves three months into Obama’s term and during a period of political upheaval in Israel. (ANI)

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