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Jordan's King Hussein

August 01, 1994

Re "Jordan Deal Could Go a Long Way," editorial, July 26:

Once again we are faced with a Middle East irony. Who would have thought that King Hussein and Yasser Arafat, the only two Arab leaders of prominence who sided with Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and stood up against the United States during the Gulf War, would be the same leaders invited to the White House to sign peace agreements with Israel?

In the Arab world you earn respect by not capitulating to the West, no matter how righteous the cause may seem to the world at the time, but by standing tall and true to your causes. The strength that these two leaders gained over the years by dedicating their lives to their people's causes have allowed them to make peace with their enemy.

Your editorial seems to suggest that Syrian President Hafez Assad is "hang(ing) out there all alone" by his intransigence. What do you expect him to do, give up the Golan Heights to get invited to the Rose Garden? The Arab people are not looking for short-term gains nor are they seeking the wealth and technology of the West in terms that will compromise their place in history. Lasting peace only comes by mutual respect and honor.

ISHTIAQ A. CHISTI

Long Beach

Re "After 46 Years, Israel, Jordan Vow End to 'Bloodshed, Sorrow,' " July 26:

My entire adult life has been afflicted with three needless tragic conflicts: the United States-Soviet Union, Arabs-Israel and India-Pakistan. The first is finally defused. Is it too much to hope that "religious" Jews, Muslims and Hindus will demonstrate the sanity and decency shown by "secular" Americans and Russians?

ALI WASSIL

Los Angeles

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