Jordanian prince says NZ uniquely placed to help create world peace after terror attack response

A member of Jordan's royal family who's in New Zealand to honour the victims of the Christchurch mosque massacre, including four Jordanian citizens, says this country is now uniquely placed to help make the world more peaceful.

But Prince Hassan Bin Talal of Jordan also has a stark warning that we need to be vigilant after the terror attack on March 15 in which a gunman killed 50 people and injured another 50 during Friday prayers at two mosques in Christchurch.

Prince Hassan told TVNZ1's Seven Sharp he thinks the attack "has brought into the focus of many of us, including myself, that New Zealand is an island of sanity and of serenity and of tranquility".

Asked if New Zealand should we be concerned about retaliation, he said: "I think copycat attacks, retaliation, all over the world, is something only to be expected. 

"And this is why I think that the time has come to wake up to the fact that we can't say 'love thy neighbour' and that's it. We have to be vigilant, we have to change our educational process, we have to address the fact that hatred is the tool of populists all over the world."

Prince Hassan has for decades been a passionate advocate for global peace. He is advocating for a change in the United Nations and for global peace standards and he says New Zealand is now uniquely placed to help create that change. 

"Well, please know we regard you as potentially the citizens of the future in terms of the way in which you have shown compassion and understanding, and hugged your neighbours and cried with them," he said. 

"This is a message that is not going to go unnoticed by many of us in this world. You give us hope. But let's make good use of it this time."

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He sat down for an exclusive interview with TVNZ’s Jack Tame. Source: Seven Sharp

Prince Hassan says the attack in Christchurch is a symptom of an increasingly hateful and divided world. 

"Look at the wars in my part of the world. Look at Yemen, what is happening in Yemen today - 80 million people suffering starvation and a war that continues to attack with all kinds of ordinance. And at the end of the day we're told this is important to create jobs in other countries," he said. 

The war in Yemen has been supported by both Britain and the United States.

"Well there you go. It's the elephant in the room again. Oil and weapons," Prince Hassan said. "What about water, energy and the human environment? What about human dignity? That's what I think small countries and people should be standing for."

The prince is travelling with an entourage of palace staff and security officials. His daughter, grandson and Jordan's foreign minister are all part of the delegation in New Zealand.  

Prince Hassan is the uncle of Jordan's King Abdullah II.

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His Royal Highness sat down with reporter Jack Tame. Source: Seven Sharp