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Jordanian Ambassador Hopeful After New Palestinian Leadership

Ambassador Karim Kawar's interview will be broadcast in three segments on VOA's Persian-language News and Views beginning today and concluding Thursday.

Washington, D.C., Jan. 11, 2005 -- Jordanian Ambassador to the United States Karim Kawar told the Voice of America (VOA) that last Sunday's Palestinian elections were important because "with new leadership there is hope."

"President Abbas cannot do it on his own," said Kawar said in an exclusive interview at VOA. "He needs the support of Israel and Prime Minister (Ariel) Sharon in changing the day-to-day lives of the Palestinians. The Palestinians have to see now that with new leadership there is hope."

Excerpts of Kawar's interview are being broadcast on VOA's daily Persian-language television program News and Views beginning today and concluding on Thursday. Today's segment focuses on the Palestinian election. Wednesday's segment will address the upcoming Iraqi election. The series concludes on Thursday with a discussion of the future of the Middle East.

Although hopeful, Kawar said Palestinians might face a long process. Outlining the "pillars of democracy," which include freedom of speech, the rights of women, and judicial reform, the ambassador said, "Where those do not exist, then democracy cannot happen overnight." He added, "We have to build these structures."

VOA broadcasts several Persian-language TV programs to Iran. News and Views is a daily 30-minute television news show broadcast via satellite to audiences in Iran; Roundtable With You is a weekly 90-minute discussion show; and Next Chapter is a weekly 30-minute youth newsmagazine show. In addition, the special TV program Looking Ahead airs live as an occasional two-hour show focusing on the future of democracy and human rights in Iran. These television shows complement VOA Persian's daily radio service and Radio Farda, a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week, youth-oriented radio program that is a joint project of VOA and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. The VOA Persian Service Internet site is

The Voice of America, which first went on the air in 1942, is a multimedia international broadcasting service funded by the U.S. government through the Broadcasting Board of Governors. VOA broadcasts more than 1,000 hours of news, information, educational, and cultural programming every week to an estimated worldwide audience of more than 100 million people. Programs are produced in 44 languages, including English.

For more information, call the Office of Public Affairs at (202) 401-7000, or E-Mail