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Anti-virus efforts, region top Safadi’s talks with Spanish FM

By Rana Husseini - Oct 01,2020 - Last updated at Oct 01,2020

Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi and Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation Arancha Gonzalez Laya hold a joint press conference at the Foreign Ministry in Amman on Thursday (Photo courtesy of the Foreign Ministry)

AMMAN — Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi and Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation Arancha Gonzalez Laya on Thursday held talks focused on the situation in the region and the latest health developments related to the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic and social repercussions.

During a joint press conference at the Foreign Ministry, Safadi reiterated the Kingdom’s commitment to strengthen the cooperation with the EU and Spain.

“When we talk about Spain, we are actually talking about a country that is not foreign to the peace matters, since the peace process was launched in Madrid, and we value the Spanish government’s position to call for a two-state solution,” Safadi said.

Both Safadi and Laya stressed the importance of reaching “real grounds” to resume negotiations between the Palestinians and the Israelis to resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict based on international law and accredited references until reaching an end to the conflict based on the two-state solution. 

“We stressed during our meeting that the Palestinian cause is central and that the political blockage is no longer unacceptable. We need to move forward to demand a two-state solution so that both parties can live in peace,” Safadi stressed. 

Comprehensive peace is a goal “for all of us because this is the road to a peaceful future for everyone in the region”, Safadi added.

Laya added that “Spain strongly supports peace and security in this area, including the relaunching of negotiations between the Palestinians and the Israelis so that they can live next to each other peacefully”.

Safadi also said that he briefed Laya about the outcomes of the meeting that the Kingdom hosted last week with the participation of the foreign ministers of Egypt, France and Germany, in the presence of an EU representative.

Safadi also highlighted during the press conference the importance of respecting Iraq's sovereignty and joining all efforts to support the Iraqi government, mainly in the fields of enhancing security, stability and the rule of law, “whose success is a success for the entire region” in realising the joint goal of achieving stability and defeating terrorism”. 

“Jordan is willing to provide all the necessary support to Iraq in its efforts to fight terrorism so that security and safety is achieved there,” Safadi stressed.

Laya also expressed her country’s commitment for more security and stability in Iraq and to “build on what have already been achieved there”.

Meanwhile, Laya said she started her visit in the region with Jordan as “a form of sign to indicate the importance of Jordan to Spain, especially the Kingdom’s commitment to the safety and security of the region”.

 “I also want to send a signal that we support Jordan in its fight against COVID-19 and to cooperate in the fight against this pandemic,” said Laya.

The Spanish minister also touched on other avenues such as tourism, saying that the two countries agreed to revive the tourism sector that was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in both countries, saying that “the two sides are working on a plan to support each other”.

Other sectors that two sides discussed, according to Laya, included the issue of lack of water in Jordan as well as supporting reforms, civil societies, women's issues among other avenues.

Earlier in the day, Laya visited a health centre and a school that is run by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) in Nuzha neighbourhood in Amman.

Laya listened to a briefing by the UNRWA officials regarding the situation of Palestine refugees in Jordan and the response of UNRWA during the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the education programmes and services provided to refugees.

“I visited the UNRWA today and I want to thank the Jordanian government’s efforts in welcoming and supporting refugees and supporting them for many years,” Laya said.

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