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Germany offers more assistance to help Jordan economically

King underlines Berlin’s leadership role in efforts to address regional crises

By Mohammad Ghazal - Jun 22,2018 - Last updated at Jun 22,2018

His Majesty King Abdullah meets with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Amman on Thursday (Photo courtesy of Royal Court)

AMMAN — His Majesty King Abdullah on Thursday said Jordan highly appreciates its close friendship with Germany and its continued support for our development efforts, namely in our education and water sectors.

The King made his remarks in a joint statement to the press on Thursday along with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, stating that Germany, the largest donor at the recent Brussels conference to help Syrian refugees and their hosts, understands the great burden of the Syrian refugee crisis and is providing generous assistance to host countries such as Jordan.

“As we work towards further enhancing our economic ties, the business leaders accompanying you today have the chance to explore the unique opportunities Jordan has to offer in terms of investments and human resources,” said King Abdullah. 

“This is a huge potential to increase investment and trade by utilising the EU-Jordan Rules of Origin agreement, and we have long been working with Germany and the European Union to capitalise on this effort,” His Majesty added.

Pledging continued support to Jordan, Merkel, who left later in the day after the brief visit, announced that Germany will provide a $100 million unconditional loan to Jordan to help reforms in the country this year.

“We are aware of the challenges you face, both in the realm of security and in civil society development, and I already cordially congratulated the new prime minister. He has a very difficult task, but I wish him and his government much success in implementing the needed reforms,” she told reporters.

“We, ourselves, have decided that — apart from the cooperation that we already have, 384 million euros has been devoted to development cooperation and the professional education of young people — that we shall give an untied loan to the tune of $100 million to the government, in order to make it easier… to implement the IMF reforms,” Merkel added.

Merkel called for close cooperation between businesspeople from the two countries, saying: “ Jordan is indeed an attractive country, and our business community wishes to invest.”

On key regional files, Jordan and Germany share a common view and understanding, said the King.

“Our defence and security cooperation has helped enhance the security of both our countries, but also throughout the wider region…. We also look to Germany, as a leader in the European Union and on the international stage, to support peace efforts in the Middle East,” said the King.

On the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, the King said it remains the region’s key issue, and Germany and the EU have a major role to play in advancing peace efforts, based on the two-state solution.

 “There can be no peace or stability in the region without a just and lasting solution that leads to the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital, living side by side with Israel in peace and security,” he said.

In Jerusalem, Jordan remains committed to upholding its role, as well as its responsibility as Custodian of Islamic and Christian holy sites, the King added.

“We also see eye to eye on the need for a political solution in Syria that guarantees the country’s territorial integrity and the unity of its people…. These are some of the topics that we continue to discuss and coordinate on, and we are committed to continuing our cooperation,” he added.

In this regard, Merkel said Jordan and Germany face similar challenges, including the terror threat and they are, therefore, fighting Daesh and working to create a peaceful environment in Syria.

“We want to concentrate on our cooperation, obviously, on helping refugees, but not forgetting that the people who actually live in Jordan, Jordanian citizens, also wish to shape a good future and need a good future for themselves and their families,” she said, highlighting Jordan’s role in the Middle East peace process. 

Chancellor Merkel added that Germany looks forward to further cooperation with Jordan in the future, while building on what has already been achieved.

She also referred to a number of regional issues, including the security challenges facing the two countries, as well as the nuclear agreement with Iran, and Iranian presence in some countries in the region, stressing the importance of addressing and resolving these issues.

In talks before the remarks to the press, King Abdullah and Merkel looked into means to boost ties in various areas, especially in defence, development and the  economy, according to the Royal Court.

They stressed the need for continued discussions regarding various issues of mutual concern and looked into regional and international developments and efforts to achieve peace and stability.

On the peace process, King Abdullah underlined the need to intensify efforts to attain lasting and comprehensive peace between the Palestinians and the Israelis on the basis of the two-state solution, the Arab Peace initiative and the UN resolutions leading to the creation of an independent Palestinian state at the borders of 1964 with East Jerusalem as its capital. 

Talks also focused on the importance of continued support to UNRWA by the international community to enable the agency to continue to provide services to the refugees. In this regard, His Majesty voiced appreciation for Germany’s support to UNRWA.

On Syria, King Abdullah reiterated Jordan’s stance that calls for a political solution in Syria, underscoring the importance of preserving the de-escalation zone in southwestern parts of Syria that was reached following a tripartite deal between Jordan, the US and Russia.

Discussions also covered the increasing burden on Jordan due to its hosting of a large number of Syrian refugees. King Abdullah said it was important for donor countries to honor their commitments to countries hosting refugees, especially Jordan to enable it to continue providing humanitarian services to them.

Merkel stressed her country’s support to Jordan and commended the Kingdom’s role in peace and stability in the Middle East.

She expressed Germany’s readiness to continue supporting the development process in Jordan, calling for continuous coordination between the businesspeople in the two countries.

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Alhumdulilah for the help

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