EU addresses Jordanians with 'message of support'

(MENAFN- Jordan Times) AMMAN — The EU is committed to continue support for Jordan and maintaining a strong partnership with the Kingdom, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy FedericaMogherini said on Sunday.

She described Jordan as one of Europe's best partners in the world.

At a joint press conference with Minister of Foreign Affairs in the caretaker government Ayman Safadi in Amman, the EU official announced a 20 million euro deal for implementing social protection projects, and said that the EU's support to Jordan since 2016 has reached 1 billion euros to date.

"As part of the one billion euros, we have the second tranche of micro-financial assistance for this year that is ready to be disposed. This tranche of 100 million euros is linked to economic and fiscal reforms," she said.

'Our message to Jordan and Jordanian people is one of strong partnership between the EU and Jordan, and a message of support to all Jordanians and Jordan as a country,' she said, stressing on the Kingdom's vital role in the region.

She said the EU highly values Jordan's 'wise, balanced and unique' role and that the EU wants to support Jordan with all possible means at its disposal, including economic means.

On Jordan's recent request to revise the EU relaxed rules of origin, she said: 'I expect a decision about that in the coming weeks, and that will increase access of Jordanian goods to European markets.'

'We know how important this is for the Jordanian economy, and especially to support the private sector in Jordan,' she said.

During the press conference, Safadi said the 'EU's support and partnership to Jordan is something that we highly value'.

'The amount of coordination and support we have from the EU is something that helped in our development process… We discussed ways and means to expand on this partnership, whether in terms of economic support and improving the free trade agreement that we have with Europe while making sure that the relaxed rules of origin deal is addressed in a way that will yield better results for both of us,' said Safadi.

The minister highlighted the impact of regional conditions and the presence of a large number of Syrian refugees on the Kingdom.

During the presser, the two sides stressed the centrality of the Palestinian issue, stressing that the key for peace in the region is ending the Palestinian-Israeli conflict on the basis of the two-state solution.

'I want to thank King Abdullah as the custodian of the holy sites in Jerusalem. This is a key issue and a key priority not only for the Arab world…It is a key issue for Europe and all Europeans, as we have in Europe Christians, Muslims and Jews, and thus the nature and future of Jerusalem is of crucial importance,' said Mogherini.

'We would like to see Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine and Israel,' she said, stressing that the only realistic solution for the conflict is a two-state solution.

She also underlined the need for continued support to UNRWA to make sure that the UN agency receives adequate funding to carry out its mission.

Safadi reiterated that the two-state solution is the only solution to break the stalemate in peace talks that is 'further complicating the situation' in the Middle East.

'On that we see-eye-to-eye: on the need to end the stalemate and move forward with the effective measure that would take us out of this stalemate into a solution that is based on the two-state solution,' said Safadi.

'For Jordan this is the key issue, and we believe that, unless that conflict is resolved on the basis of the two state solution with East Jerusalem as its capital of Palestine, the region will not enjoy peace and stability that it deserves,' he added.

Discussions also covered Syria, with the two sides stressing the need for a political solution to the crisis in Syria on the basis of the UN Resolution 2254 within the Geneva Process.


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