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‘Absence of political solution to Mideast conflict root cause of terrorism’

Safadi co-chairs Jordan-EU Association Council session

By JT - Jun 18,2019 - Last updated at Jun 18,2019

AMMAN — The root cause of terrorism in the Middle East is the absence of a political resolution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi said on Monday. 

“Resolving the conflict is the only way to achieve peace in the region,” Safadi said, adding that the absence of political prospects to solving the problem is “very dangerous”, according to a Foreign Ministry statement. 

“We are working to provide hope for an end to the conflict on grounds that would ensure lasting peace, which can only happen with the end of the occupation, the Palestinians’ exercising of their rights and the establishment of an independent Palestinian state along the June 4, 1967 lines,” Safadi highlighted. 

Safadi’s remarks were made on the sidelines of the 13th session of the Jordan-EU Association Council, co-chaired by Safadi and EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the European Commission Federica Mogherini and attended by foreign ministers of the union’s member countries, in Luxembourg. 

“The longer it takes to resolve the conflict, the higher the threat of violence rises,” Safadi stressed, renewing Jordan’s commitment to peace.

He noted that the occupation has caused economic problems in Palestine, referring to high rates of unemployment and reiterating the need for a political solution that would grant the Palestinians stability and statehood, which in turn would improve their economy and create jobs.

Safadi and his European counterparts discussed the region’s status quo, with a focus on the Palestinian cause. 

In a joint press conference with Mogherini, Safadi reiterated Jordan’s commitment to enhancing its partnership with the EU and working towards eliminating joint challenges. 

Safadi stressed the importance of Jordanian-European partnership and the keenness of the two sides on developing it within the framework of the partnership agreement and its priorities. 

He added that Jordan looks up to Europe as a powerful and trusted partner, which it will continue to work with to achieve economic growth and reform, and regional peace and stability. 

European Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn said he is looking forward to leading a high-level delegation to Amman this week, which includes European and international financial institutions, such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

Hahn added that supporting Jordan and its development is a prerequisite for achieving regional peace and stability, referring to the challenges posed on the country by the refugee crisis.

The EU is studying a new aid package to the Kingdom, noting that the union supports Jordan in its efforts to fulfil conditions stipulated in the recently eased rules-of-origin agreement with the bloc, to reap higher benefits from the European markets.

He noted that the implementation of the aforementioned agreement would contribute to improving living conditions.

Hahn stressed the EU’s firm commitment to supporting the Red Sea-Dead Sea Water Conveyance Project, noting the importance of improving the country’s water resources.

For her part, Mogherini announced that the EU has received an invitation to the US-led Bahrain conference, to be held later this month to unveil the economic component of the US proposal to settle the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, and that the bloc is still considering the level of its representation, noting that it would probably be “technical”.

Mogherini stressed that the bloc’s participation in the upcoming conference would not affect its commitment to reaching a political solution to the conflict that guarantees the establishment of an independent Palestinian state.

Meanwhile, on the sidelines of the EU meetings, Jordan signed an administrative partnership agreement with the bloc, according to the statement.

Safadi also participated on Monday in the meeting of the EU’s Foreign Affairs Council attended by foreign ministers of the union’s member countries, according to the statement.

During the meeting, the foreign minister discussed with EU officials bilateral relations between Jordan and the bloc, and reviewed the EU’s commitments within the partnership priorities framework, including a grant of 183.65 million euros, pledged by the bloc this year, in addition to a deposit of 71.62 million euros to the Treasury.

Discussions also followed up on the outcomes of the third Brussels conference on Syria, including financial pledges resulting from the meeting earlier this year.

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