AMMAN — His Majesty King Abdullah on Thursday held a summit meeting with Morocco’s King Mohammed VI, during which they discussed bilateral ties and the region.
The Moroccan King arrived in Amman for a three-day official visit late Thursday night, and was received by Their Royal Highnesses Prince Feisal, Prince Talal and Prince Ghazi.
During the meeting at the Royal Palace in Hummar, the two leaders underlined their mutual keenness on strengthening the ties, a Royal Court statement said.
They discussed the developments in the Middle East, specifically the Syrian crisis.
His Majesty reiterated Jordan’s position in seeking a political solution that brings violence to an end and preserves Syria’s unity.
King Abdullah warned of the repercussions of the crisis on the entire area, pointing out the great burden Jordan is undertaking in serving the Syrian refugees, whose number currently exceeds 200,000.
He said such a task requires the international community to continue supporting the Kingdom.
The Monarch valued the contribution and support of the Moroccan kingdom, which was one of the first countries to send a field hospital to Jordan.
They also discussed means to achieve a just and comprehensive solution to the Palestinian issue, based on the two-state solution that leads to the emergence of an independent Palestinian state within the 1967 border, with East Jerusalem as its capital.
The two leaders stressed the importance of Jerusalem, and voiced their rejection of any prejudice towards the Islamic and Christian holy sites, and any Israeli attempt to erase the city’s Arab and Muslim identity.
On the sidelines of the meeting, which continued over a lunch banquet, high-ranking officials from both sides held a meeting to discuss ways to intensify mutual cooperation and exchange of expertise in various fields including energy and minerals, water and environment, health, commerce and economy, transportation and agriculture.
Visit to Zaatari
Also on Thursday, King Mohammed VI, accompanied by Prince Ghazi, chief adviser to King Abdullah for religious and cultural affairs and His Majesty’s personal envoy, and Moroccan Prince Moulay Rashid, visited the Zaatari Refugee Camp in Mafraq and checked on the Moroccan military field hospital in the facility. The hospital was deployed to the camp upon the Moroccan king’s directives to alleviate the burden on Jordan in its efforts to serve the Syrian refugees. The king listened to a briefing on the facility’s services from its director, who noted that more than 27,000 Syrians have benefited from the hospital so far. Jordan Hashemite Charity Organisation Secretary General Ayman Mefleh said seven Moroccan planes laden with food and in-kind assistance to Syrian refugees arrived in Jordan after the king’s visit to Zaatari.
FM press conference
Moroccan Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Saad-Eddine Othmani on Thursday said his country opposed any military response to the Syrian crisis and agreed with Jordan on the importance of a political and diplomatic option to end the violence there.
Othmani told reporters at a press conference that his country is using its capacity as the only Arab country on the UN Security Council to address the violence in Syria and end the humanitarian suffering of the Syrian people.
He added that the Moroccan government highly appreciates Jordan’s efforts to provide a safe haven to Syrian refugees and the Kingdom’s decision to keep its borders open to those fleeing the violence.
“The main goal of our visit is to show our support to… the Jordanian people who opened their hearts and their houses to the Syrian people who are going through a critical phase of their life,” Othmani said.
“We are aware of the huge burden this leaves on a country such as Jordan, which already has economic challenges and scarce resources.”
“No individual country can succeed in ending the crisis in Syria and we are coordinating with all international parties involved in the situations. We do not wish to see negative repercussions of the Syrian crisis spread to neighbouring countries. We understand that there are parties who seek for the crisis to continue but we are working with others including the Syrian opposition to address the violence in Syria sooner rather than later,” he said.
He added that Jordan and Morocco are coordinating humanitarian efforts to alleviate the suffering of the Syrian people, noting that the Moroccan field hospital that was deployed in the Kingdom earlier this year has treated thousands of people at the Zaatari camp, where more than 37,000 Syrian refugees are staying.
“Our coordination with Jordan will continue and we are ready to assist the government in its efforts to provide the refugees with basic humanitarian needs,” Othmani said at the press conference, adding that the Moroccan government is also coordinating with the UN Refugee Agency to provide additional assistance to Syrian refugees in other countries.
Meanwhile, the official said talks between the visiting Moroccan officials and their Jordanian counterparts focused on expanding already close ties, adding that Amman and Rabat have common views on Arab and international issues, particularly the Arab-Israeli conflict and the need to support the Palestinian people in the face of the Israeli occupation.
“We are in constant contact with world powers and the members of the UN Security Council to pressure Israel to abide by international law and end its intimidation of the Palestinian people,” he said.