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Safadi, Tunisian counterpart agree on steps to boost ties

By JT - Dec 14,2018 - Last updated at Dec 14,2018

AMMAN — Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Ayman Safadi on Thursday met with his Tunisian counterpart Khamis Al Jheinawi in Tunis, a Foreign Ministry statement said.

The two ministers said that Jordan and Tunisia are working on developing cooperation and ties in defence, economy and trade fields, as well as enhancing coordination on regional and global issues of mutual interest.

In comments to the press after their meeting, Safadi and Jheinawi said they agreed to take necessary steps to advance bilateral relations to reflect the “historic ties” between the two countries.

Safadi condemned the “dangerous” Israeli escalation in the West Bank, its raids on Palestinian institutions and into towns and its instigation against Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, warning that this disregard for international law threatens the security and stability of the entire region.

He called on the international community to uphold its responsibility by protecting the Palestinian people from Israeli violations.

The top diplomat added that the continued occupation constitutes the largest threat to the region’s stability, stressing that the only way to achieve regional peace is through a two-state solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict that guarantees the rights of the Palestinian people to freedom and statehood.

Safadi and his Tunisian counterpart presided over the second meeting of the joint political consultation committee, which was formed by the two countries to enhance bilateral cooperation and coordination over a number of regional and international issues of mutual interests.

During the meeting of the joint committee, the ministers signed a memorandum of understanding to organise periodical meetings on furthering cooperation and consultation over issues of mutual concern.

The two sides also discussed prospects of economic, trade and investment relations and the agreements that need to be signed to finalise the legal framework for joint cooperation.

Acknowledging that economic and trade cooperation remains below the level of the “strong strategic relations” between the two Arab countries, the two ministers stressed that there is strong will and opportunity to enhance them, referring to a free trade agreement between Jordan and Tunisia and both countries’ membership in the Agadir Agreement.

They also called for removing all obstacles hindering joint cooperation between the private sectors of the two countries as well as supporting the Jordan-Tunisia business council.

Safadi and Jheinawi underlined the “important outcomes” of the ninth session of the Jordanian-Tunisian Higher Joint Committee, which was held in Tunis last year, and the need to build on such outcomes when it reconvenes in Amman in 2020. 

They also went over preparations Tunisia is making to host the March 2019 Arab summit, with Safadi offering the Kingdom’s full support to render the meeting a success.

As talks tackled the Palestinian issue, the foreign minister updated his Tunisian peer on the efforts Amman has been exerting to protect the Islamic and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem and support a just peace for Palestinians.

They also discussed ongoing regional crises in Syria and Libya, stressing the need to forge peaceful solutions to end the conflicts there, while they underlined keenness to join ranks in the fight against terror, calling for concerted Arab and international efforts to defeat terrorists militarily and through security means.

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