(1935-) King of Jordan from 1952. By 1967 he had lost all his kingdom west of the river Jordan in the Arab-Israeli Wars, and in 1970 suppressed the Palestine Liberation Organization acting as a guerrilla force against his rule on the remaining East Bank territories. Subsequently, he became a moderating force in Middle Eastern politics, and in 1994 signed a peace agreement with Israel, ending a 46-year-old “state of war” between the two countries.
Great-grandson of Hussein ibn Ali, he became king following the mental incapacitation of his father, Talal. After Iraq's annexation of Kuwait 1990 he attempted to mediate between the opposing sides, at the risk of damaging his relations with both sides. In 1993 he publicly distanced himself from Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.