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King holds talks with French president in Paris

Paris, June 19 (Petra) -- His Majesty King Abdullah II held talks on Monday with French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris focusing on regional and international developments and means of cementing cooperation and partnership between the two countries.

The two leaders emphasized the importance of maintaining consultation and coordination on various issues of mutual interest and expanding cooperation in the economic and military fields.

In joint remarks to reporters after the talks, His Majesty the King said he was delighted to visit France again and meet with President Macron, stressing ties between the two countries as historic.

His Majesty also congratulated President Macron on his election as President of his country. He expressed his hope to work with the French President to boost relations between the two countries and bring about security and stability in the Middle East and the world.

Following is the full text of His Majesty King Abdullah II's remarks:

Merci Monsieur le President,

I’m truly delighted to be back here in Paris and for the very kind and warm reception extended to me already by you so far and the interesting discussions that we’ve had.

Also, I think it if you allow me just to express the condolences of myself and, obviously, our delegation and our country, Jordan.

Our relationship with your military and your other institutions has been strong and historic so, in a small way, if I could pass on our condolences to those affected and to show the solidarity that we will always have between our two countries, with a special partnership that we’ve had historically, but I think even more so now as we look at our future challenges, both militarily, politically in our region, so we will always stand by you; Jordan will be always your friend and your ally, and we will always stand together with France.

Obviously, we are keen to develop the strategic partnership, as the President and I have discussed, on all levels. This is not going to be difficult for Jordan and France, because we’ve had excellent relations historically, but there are certain areas where we need to expand our relationship and our goals.

The shared global challenges of today are a collective responsibility for all of us, and the best way to overcome them is through joint action, which we will be discussing as we proceed with these meetings today.

All the challenges that are affecting us whether it’s the economic challenges or threats of extremism and terrorism is something that has to bring us together in a focused strategic view, not only for our region, but for the rest of the world.

While these issues are not exclusive to my region, as I mentioned, the absence of inclusive political solutions to regional conflict means sectarian violence and the terrorist threat will continue to fester.

Europe has, obviously, an important role to play not only in our region, but also, I think, here within the boundaries of Europe, and this is why we put so much attention to the special relationship we have with France.

The challenge that we have is, obviously, rejecting hate speech and Islamophobia. This is key to stopping extremist forces, who like to exploit fear, from achieving their goals.

Our collective efforts should be focused on the common interests and benefits and the potential of a regional solution, and looking at all the crises in our region in a holistic approach.

It is also vital, as you mentioned, that in this context, that we achieve progress in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, and hopefully arrive at a just and lasting solution, based on the two-state solution.

Looking ahead, obviously, the regional turmoil and the impact of the humanitarian refugee crisis is something that is challenging Jordan very strongly. We’ve embarked on our own path to address the resulting social, economic pressures, but in the end, we do look forward to the support of the international community in that.

But, as you mentioned, France is the largest investor in our country; something that we have taken historically in tremendous strength, and there are many opportunities, as you have mentioned, for our private sectors to grow together. Over $2 billion has been spent on investments, as you mentioned energy, telecom and construction sectors.

This is an opportunity, I hope this year, where we’ll be able to invite the French industries to explore stronger partnerships with Jordan.

But at the end of the day, it is our political relationship, and how we tackle the challenges inside of the Islamic world and in our region in partnership, which will take us forward.

I look forward to the continued discussions tonight, Your Excellency, and, again, thank you very much for the warm hospitality that we’re always shown here, not only by you, Sir, but by the government of France and the people of France.

Thank you very much."

//Petra// AA


20/6/2017 - 12:13:52 AM
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