Jordan's King Abdullah II said on Thursday that inequalities and the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic created a "fertile ground for terrorism to flourish".
He referred to recent regional and international developments, such as efforts to strengthen regional security and stability, counter the COVID-19 pandemic and combat terrorism and extremism, according to a royal court statement.
"Directing our attention and resources to countering the pandemic has taken our focus away from fighting terrorism and extremism (...) while the battle may be won, the war is not yet over," Abdullah said in the speech, also delivered at the Brookings Institution.
"Growing inequalities and emerging crises caused by the pandemic will fuel the recruitment efforts" of jihadist groups, he added. He cited examples including Al-Qaeda and Daesh, as well as Boko Haram in Nigeria and Al-Shabaab in Somalia.
He also reaffirmed Jordan's stable position on the Palestinian cause and the need to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It guarantees the establishment of an independent, sovereign and viable Palestinian state on the lines of 4 June 1967, with East Jerusalem as its capital, living in peace and security alongside Israel.
"Occupation and peace simply cannot coexist. The Palestinian people have the right to an independent, viable and sovereign state on the lines of 4 June 1967, to live side by side with Israel in peace and security," the King said. He also spoke of the Israeli-occupied West Bank and said that "the continuation of unilateral steps will only end the prospects for peace".
Turning to the vital leadership role of the United States in strengthening security and stability in the region, the King praised US President Joe Biden's renewed commitment to international engagement.