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Discuss the role of King Hussein of Jordan in influencing the Arab-Israeli conflict.

King Hussein of Jordan played a significant role in the Arab-Israeli conflict, acting as a mediator and peace advocate.

King Hussein ascended to the throne in 1952 and ruled Jordan until his death in 1999. Throughout his reign, he was a key figure in the Arab-Israeli conflict, often acting as a mediator between the two sides. His role was particularly significant due to Jordan's geographical location, sharing borders with Israel, the West Bank, Syria, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia. This made Jordan a strategic player in the conflict and placed King Hussein in a unique position to influence its course.

In the early years of his reign, King Hussein adopted a more aggressive stance towards Israel, reflecting the prevailing sentiment among Arab nations at the time. This was evident in his decision to join the Arab coalition in the 1967 Six-Day War against Israel. However, the war ended in a devastating defeat for the Arab states, and Jordan lost control of the West Bank and East Jerusalem to Israel. This loss marked a turning point in King Hussein's approach to the conflict.

Following the 1967 war, King Hussein began to advocate for a peaceful resolution to the Arab-Israeli conflict. He recognised the need for dialogue and negotiation, and in 1973, he secretly met with Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir to discuss peace terms. Although these talks did not immediately lead to a peace agreement, they set the stage for future negotiations.

In 1994, King Hussein's efforts culminated in the signing of a peace treaty between Jordan and Israel, making Jordan only the second Arab country, after Egypt, to formally recognise Israel. The treaty resolved several key issues, including border disputes and water sharing, and established full diplomatic relations between the two countries.

However, King Hussein's pursuit of peace was not without controversy. Many in the Arab world criticised his decision to recognise Israel and accused him of betraying the Palestinian cause. Despite this, King Hussein remained committed to his vision of peace and continued to advocate for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

In conclusion, King Hussein of Jordan played a significant role in the Arab-Israeli conflict. His early participation in the conflict, his shift towards peace advocacy, and his eventual recognition of Israel all had a profound impact on the course of the conflict. Despite facing criticism, King Hussein's actions demonstrated his belief in the importance of dialogue and negotiation in resolving conflicts. His legacy continues to influence the Arab-Israeli conflict today.

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