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King champions youth, Palestinian cause, Jordan’s sovereignty throughout 2019

By Maram Kayed - Dec 31,2019 - Last updated at Dec 31,2019

His Majesty King Abdullah, the Supreme Commander of the Jordan Armed Forces-Arab Army, accompanied by HRH Crown Prince Hussein, performs prayer during a visit to Al Ghamr in Wadi Araba on November 16 (File photo)

AMMAN — In an eventful year filled with challenging budgets and hard decisions, His Majesty King Abdullah has made his priorities clear: Jordanian youth, the Palestinian cause and the sovereignty of Jordan.

Throughout this year’s parliamentary speeches and continual meetings with youth, the King expressed pride in young Jordanians, noting that they “give hope in Jordan’s economic, political and social reform endeavours”, as he said during a meeting with young entrepreneurs in May.

In June, His Majesty celebrated the 20th anniversary of his Accession to the Throne with hundreds of young Jordanians at the Cultural Palace.

In another round of meetings with youth in September, the King listened to the young attendees’ ideas and initiatives, expressing pride in their creativity, noting that “implementing these ideas requires working seriously, transparently and without hesitation”.

During the Speech from the Throne given in Parliament in November, His Majesty reiterated his point by saying: “The most difficult reforms are behind us, and the promising future lies ahead. We are marching confidently towards that future to realise the aspirations of the people of this nation.”

Head of the Political Science Department at the University of Jordan Waleed Abu Dalbouh told The Jordan Times over the phone that “not a month goes by that the King does not make an encouraging remark to the youth in his speeches or meet with them directly”.

“In a country in which more than 60 per cent of the population is youth, and yet all the important positions are held by an ageing elite, the King’s continuous support is not only inspirational but critical,” he added.

Among the King’s priorities is the Palestinian cause, as His Majesty stressed that the occupation of the Palestinian territory in particular as “the continuation of a global moral tragedy”.

Delivering this remark during Jordan’s address at the 74th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, His Majesty said: “The two-state solution is the only genuine solution. Because, what is the alternative? One state, segregated, with unequal laws, dependent on force, betraying the deepest values of the good people on both sides? That is a formula for enduring conflict, not a path to stability, security and peace.”

The King called for collective action to end the Palestinian-Israeli conflict not only in his UN Assembly speech in New York but at the Arab Summit in Tunis earlier this year as well.

His Majesty said that the Palestinian cause “has been and will always remain the foremost concern for all Arabs”, reaffirming that addressing the Palestinian issue must be in line with Arab constants.

"The Palestinian cause must remain Arabs’ core and primary cause," the King added.

Head of the Arab League delegation Haidar Jbouri said during his visit to Amman in November that “King Abdullah spares no international effort to defend the Palestinian cause and UNRWA”.

When the UNRWA mandate was renewed that same month, Jordan, represented by Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi, hailed the decision.

British Ambassador to Jordan Edward Oakden said in earlier remarks to The Jordan Times that the Kingdom’s support to UNRWA is “generous and notable”. 

When presented with the decision to renew the controversial annexes of the Wadi Araba Peace Treaty with Israel, His Majesty said in the Speech from the Throne in November: “Today, I announce the expiration of the Peace Treaty annexes on Al Ghamr and Baqura.” He highlighted the “imposition of our [Jordan’s] full sovereignty over every inch of those lands”.

“A national sense of relief, pride and euphoria followed His Majesty King Abdullah’s historic decision,” columnist Osama Al Sharif said in an op-ed published in The Jordan Times.

Abu Dalbouh concluded that throughout the “challenging” year of 2019, the King’s priorities were “always expressed boldly and eloquently. His Majesty expressed his support or condemnation of causes very clearly, which, in turn, presents Jordan as a strong and independent nation”.

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