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‘Jordan receives no orders from any party’ — Razzaz

PM says around 30, 000 jobs to be created in 2019 from planned projects

By JT - Sep 23,2018 - Last updated at Sep 23,2018

Prime Minister Omar Razzaz speaking during a lecture at the Royal Jordanian National Defence College (Photo courtesy of Jordan TV)

AMMAN —  Prime Minister Omar Razzaz said on Friday that Jordan has a clear relationship with the International Monetary Fund, stressing there is no party imposing policies and decisions on the Kingdom.

In an interview with Jordan Television's 60 Minutes programme, Razzaz said that His Majesty King Abdullah has directed the government to study the issue of general pardon law and come up with a clear vision by the beginning of October.

MPs have submitted four memoranda to the Lower House's Permanent Office to be sent to the government urging the government to draft the pardon bill.

During their deliberations of the policy statement on Razzaz’s government, several deputies made a similar petition.

Razzaz said that the King always focuses on the economic situation, unemployment and quality of services provided to citizens, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

Razzaz also stressed that the government will not close any corruption case, saying that there is a high-level coordination with the International Criminal Police (Interpol) to bring back Awni Mutee, the main suspect in the tobacco case.

When asked about his government's plans for elections and political parties laws, the prime minister said that economic reforms cannot make great strides in the right direction without being coupled with political reforms, as "accountability and monitoring tools will be undermined and corruption will be rooted in the absence of political reform”.

During a recent meeting with the president and council members of the Jordan Press Association, the King called for updating both the election and political parties laws to achieve the endgame in the reform process.

Razzaz also said that decentralisation has been a successful experience and must be further developed. "The provincial councils must meet the needs of average citizens so that the Lower House can be more focused on legislation and monitoring over the executive authority."

He stressed that his government has adopted dialogue as an approach and not "as a trend or subject that is today used and cancelled tomorrow", pointing out that the government's visits to the governorates to discuss the 2018 amendments to the Income Tax Law fall within this context.

"Jordan currently faces a difficult situation and a relative decline in grants and aid in addition to a globally tough political situation," the premier said, adding, "stabilising the economic situation is a top priority and therefore all current expenditures must at least equal the country's domestic revenues so that we do not have to resort to any third party, because that forms a burden".

Razzaz also said a number of projects, estimated to create 30,000 jobs, will be implemented next year. 

The prime minister stressed Jordan's firm stance on the Palestinian issue during the interview, pointing out that the King has always advocated for a two-state solution, coupled with a just answer to preserve the Palestinians' rights to return, as well as supporting the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA).

Jordan will never back down from its stance in this regard, as this stance is a constant Razzaz said, pointing out that the entire region is under tremendous pressure and Jordan's internal front must be fortified.

He added that any attempt to liquidate UNRWA will be aimed at liquidating the Palestinian cause, stressing that Jordan will not give up the refugees' right to return.

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