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Safadi discusses regional issues, ties with Australian representatives

Delegation commends Kingdom’s role in hosting refugees, regional stability

By JT - Jan 10,2019 - Last updated at Jan 10,2019

Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi and an Australian parliamentary delegation meet on Thursday to review regional issues and ties between Jordan and Australia (Petra photo)

AMMAN — Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi and an Australian parliamentary delegation, headed by Chairman of the Australian-Jordanian Friendship Committee Maria Vamvakinou, on Thursday reviewed bilateral ties and developing them at the economic, touristic and cultural levels. 

During the meeting, attended by Australian Ambassador to Jordan Miles Armitage, both sides also reviewed regional developments, a Foreign Ministry statement said.

Safadi stressed the centrality of the Palestinian issue and the need for intensifying the international community’s efforts to break the stalemate in the peace process.

The minister also called for achieving a comprehensive peace, based on the two-state solution that addresses all final status issues and guarantees the establishment of an independent Palestinian state, in accordance with the international legitimacy resolutions and the Arab Peace Initiative, and with East Jerusalem as the capital of the Palestinian state.

He also reiterated Jordan's stance that Jerusalem is a “red line and a final status issue”.

Safadi warned against the repercussions of tampering with the legal and historical status quo of the Holy City, adding that any changes to the existing status quo is a violation of international law and a provocation towards Muslims and Christians across the Arab and Islamic worlds.

As for maintaining support to UNRWA, the minister stressed the need to continue providing assistance to the UN agency to enable it to offer vital services to Palestinian refugees.

In this regard, he warned of the “catastrophic” consequences, both politically and on the agency’s beneficiaries if UNRWA’s role is decreased or underfunded.

On Syria, the minister reviewed the latest developments in efforts to reach a political solution to the Syrian crisis that would preserve the unity and cohesion of Syria, is accepted by the Syrians and provides appropriate circumstances for the return of Syrian refugees to their homeland.

Safadi briefed the Australian delegation on the pressures the Kingdom is bearing as it hosts 1.3 million Syrian “brothers”, only 10 per cent of whom reside in refugee camps.

He stressed the need for the international community to continue shouldering its responsibility towards the refugees and the Kingdom, which exerts all of its efforts to meet their needs, despite pressure on its key sectors, such as the education and health sectors, as well as the labour market.

Safadi also called for international cooperation in countering terrorism, which represents a common danger that is far from Islam’s true values of peace and respect for others.

For their part, the delegation’s members expressed their keenness to develop cooperation with Jordan, praising His Majesty King Abdullah’s role in realising regional security and stability.

The delegates also commended the Kingdom's role in hosting refugees despite its difficult economic circumstances.

During a meeting with the delegates on Wednesday, MP Ramadan Hneiti, head of the Jordanian-Australian parliamentary friendship association, highlighted the importance of unifying parliamentary efforts and coordinating stances towards international issues, mainly the Palestinian cause, refugee crisis and terrorism. 

Hneiti also called on the Australian delegates to increase humanitarian assistance to refugees, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported. 

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