AMMAN: HRH Prince Feisal, the Regent, on Thursday discussed ways to expand cooperation between Jordan and the EU, as well as the latest regional developments with Chairman of the European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee Elmar Brok, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported. During the meeting held at Al Husseiniya Palace, Prince Feisal stressed Jordan’s interest in further building on the partnership with the EU, especially in the economic, trade and investment fields, voicing also appreciation of the EU’s support for the Kingdom to execute development projects. Talks also covered ways to deal with current regional issues, especially the Syrian crisis and developments in Iraq, in addition to regional and international efforts to combat terrorism within the framework of a comprehensive approach. Prince Feisal highlighted the Kingdom’s efforts to promote moderation and tolerance, which, he said, are core values in Islam, which rejects all forms of extremism.
They also discussed efforts under way to resume Palestinian-Israeli peace negotiations based on the two-state solution. For his part, Brok voiced his appreciation of Jordan’s efforts to help achieve stability in the Middle East, noting that his visit to Jordan aims at boosting bilateral cooperation and coordination on challenges facing the region. The meeting was attended by Royal Court Chief Fayez Tarawneh, King’s Office Director Jafar Hassan and EU Ambassador to Jordan Andrea Matteo Fontana. Also on Thursday, Lower House Speaker Atef Tarawneh received the EU parliament delegation. He told the delegates that Jordan has accumulated experience in fighting terrorism and in differentiating between true refugees and those only pretending to be refugees to blend in, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported. Brok praised the Kingdom’s positions on regional issues, commending His Majesty King Abdullah’s speech at the EU parliament, during which the King delivered several messages on peace and war against terrorism. Deputising for Prime Minister Hani Mulki, Minister of State for Media Affairs and Government Spokesperson Mohammad Momani met with the delegates and commended the EU’s support for the Kingdom to find strategic solutions that help minimise the effects of the Syrian crisis.
Planning and International Cooperation Minister Imad Fakhoury also met on Thursday with the delegates from the committee, who are visiting Jordan as part of their regional tour to be acquainted with the situation in the Middle East and the repercussions of the Syrian crisis and its effects on neighbouring countries, a ministry statement said. During the meeting, Fakhoury commended the support of the EU, which he said had an added value that contributed to implementing Jordan’s reform and development programmes in vital sectors, in addition to direct assistance to address budgetary woes. The planning minister briefed the delegates on the recent developments in Jordan and the effect of the Syrian crisis and refugee influx on various sectors of the Kingdom, stressing the importance of continued international support for the Kingdom, especially the state budget to implement projects in order to boost the resilience of host communities in accordance with the Jordan Response Plan 2016-2018, which sets the needs and priority projects to handle the refugee burden. For their part, the delegates commended Jordan for hosting Syrian refugees, at a time when the Kingdom poses as a role model with regards to the comprehensive reforms it has achieved, in partnership with the EU, and its efforts to boost security and stability in the face of the terrorism threat.