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Regional developments dominate during Safadi-Fidan press conference in Ankara

By JT - Jul 05,2023 - Last updated at Jul 05,2023

Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi and Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan speak at a joint press conference in Ankara on Tuesday (Petra photo)

AMMAN — During an Ankara-held press conference on Tuesday, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi emphasised the Kingdom's commitment to strengthening cooperation and enhancing coordination with Turkey.

In the joint press conference, Safadi and his Turkish counterpart, Hakan Fidan, outlined the key outcomes of their meetings over advancing bilateral relations.

Safadi stressed that both nations are pursuing practical steps to promote collaboration in various areas, including the economy, investment, tourism and culture.

Both sides agreed to convene the Joint Economic Committee in the near future, with a specific date to be determined by the respective officials, Safadi said. They also began the planning process for a delegation composed of representatives from the Turkish private sector to visit Jordan later this year to explore avenues to bolster cooperation.

Safadi also noted both sides agreed to establish regular political dialogues between both countries’ foreign ministries. The dialogue is intended to draw up future agendas for bilateral cooperation.

On the Palestinian cause, Safadi and his Turkish counterpart condemned the recent Israeli aggression in Jenin, emphasising the urgent need to halt the dangerous escalation. 

Safadi urged the international community take swift and effective action, noting that "this aggression will only lead to increased violence and tension, affecting the entire region".

Safadi warned that the aggression in Jenin has come at a time of increasing illegal measures taken in support of the occupation. These measures include settlement expansion, land confiscation and attempts to violate the historical and legal status quo of Islamic and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem, for which Jordan bears a great responsibility in light of the historical Hashemite Custodianship over the shrines.

"Calm is a step towards restarting serious and effective negotiations to achieve a just and comprehensive peace, which can only be realised through the establishment of a sovereign  independent Palestinian state along the 1967 lines, with Jerusalem as its capital," Safadi said. 

Tension ends with the cessation of its causes, the foreign minister said, noting that the fundamental reason behind the tension is the continuation of the occupation and actions that undermine the two-state solution.

"Relying solely on military approaches will not achieve peace. More than 20 attacks on Jenin have occurred this year, which have resulted in further tension and deterioration,” Safadi added.

Safadi expressed his gratitude to his Turkish counterpart for Turkey's clear and firm positions regarding the Palestinian cause, as well as the country’s ongoing support for Jordan's efforts to protect Jerusalem’s Islamic and Christian holy sites under the Hashemite Custodianship.

Safadi also noted that his discussions with Fidan also addressed the efforts to reach a political solution to the crisis in Syria. “Both sides are on the same page regarding the necessity of scaling up efforts to resolve the crisis and address all its humanitarian, security, and political consequences,” Safadi said.

Jordan and Turkey, as two countries hosting the largest number of Syrian refugees, have a shared interest in making progress in addressing the refugee issue, he added. 

Both countries agree that the future of Syrian refugees lies in their own homeland, Safadi said, emphasising the need for genuine international efforts to encourage the voluntary return of refugees.

Safadi warned of the consequences of the decline in international support for refugees, UN organisations that work with refugees and host countries, noting that the challenges of providing a decent life for refugees have been increasingly placed solely on the host countries. 

Discussions between the two ministers also covered Jordan's call to create an international fund for infrastructural upgrades that would better allow for the voluntary return of refugees.

Safadi reiterated the Kingdom’s condemnation of the burning a copy of the Holy Koran in Sweden, stressing that such an action cannot be justified as freedom of expression. 

As the first Arab foreign minister to visit Turkey since Fidan assumed office as the foreign minister, Safadi expressed the Kingdom’s commitment to advancing bilateral relations and supporting efforts to resolve regional crises.  

Fidan confirmed his “complete agreement” on numerous issues, such as the Palestinian cause and Jerusalem’s holy sites, including Al Aqsa Mosque. He noted that Turkey attaches great importance to the Hashemite Custodianship over the holy sites in Jerusalem, and supports Jordan in this endeavour.

Fidan also said that Turkey is closely monitoring all recent developments in Palestine, emphasising the urgent need to end the settler attacks on Palestinians. 

During his time in Ankara, Safadi also held separate meetings with the Speaker of the Turkish Parliament Numan Kurtulmus, and the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee in the Turkish Parliament Fuat Oktay, to discuss Jordanian Turkish relations. All parties underscored the importance of parliamentary proceedings in enhancing cooperation between the two countries. The meetings also covered the latest regional and international developments, as well as various regional issues of mutual interest, with a focus on efforts to achieve security, stability and peace in the region.

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