Jordan's King Abdullah II said that President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital has caused issues, but that the Middle East peace process still hinges on America's as-yet-unseen proposal.
Speaking in an interview that aired Sunday on CNN's "Fareed Zakaria GPS," Jordan's king said: "I think we have to give the Americans the benefit of the doubt and all work together to make sure that we help the Americans, Israelis and Palestinians come together."
Saying he's really like to see the actual plan, the king said the key issue remains: "How do we build the confidence and trust between the Palestinian leadership and the American leadership so that we can get Americans, Israelis and Palestinians at the table?"
Describing Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as "a complication," the king noted that Jerusalem was a city beloved by those of many faiths. "Jerusalem is such an emotional subject for everybody," he said.
He asked of Zakaria: "Is Jerusalem a city that ends up dividing us, which I think will be catastrophic for mankind, or is it a city of hope that brings us together? It is eternal to Jews, Christians and Muslims."
Having changed hands many times over the centuries, Jerusalem was divided between Israel and Jordan from 1948 to 1967. Israel conquered the rest of the city in 1967. King Hussein of Jordan and Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin made peace in 1994, shaking hands before President Bill Clinton on July 25, but the issue of Jerusalem has never been resolved.
Asked about Trump's past comments about those of the Muslim faith — Zakaria aired footage from the 2016 campaign of Trump saying, "I think Islam hates us." — the king said he thought Americans fundamentally misunderstood Islam.
"Whether I'm in Washington in the Congress or with the administration, I think maybe there's a lack of understanding of Islam," he said. "Islam is built on moral virtues that you see in Christianity and Judaism and other religions. You know, it is not a religion of hate."
The king did acknowledge there were issues within the Muslim world. "We have challenges because there are fringe groups that have created problem. As I've said before, we have a fight inside of Islam," he told Zakaria in the interview, which was recorded in Davos, Switzerland.
"Don't forget that," the king said, "in our global fight against international terrorism, United States is the most active partner in the world — not just with Jordan, but with Europe, the countries in Africa and the Far East. So they are our allies, and, you know, our relationship with the United States is institutional. I think that, you know, we are all partners in this global challenge."