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Dialogue is solution to all sectarian divisions — King

Feb 26,2014 - Last updated at Feb 26,2014

AMMAN — His Majesty King Abdullah on Wednesday called for enhancing the values of dialogue, coexistence and tolerance among all peoples of the world.

Delivering a speech at a conference in Jakarta, where he also held talks with Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on bilateral ties and the latest regional developments, the King stressed the role of the Ummah (Muslim nation) in spreading the true essence of Islam and contributing to the resolution resolving global challenges.

“…Every Muslim has a role — especially our young men and women — to help guide humanity’s road forward. To work with others to solve problems, meet challenges and seize opportunities,” he said (see full speech).

Speaking at the Nahdlatul Ulama Interfaith Conference “Islam for Peace and Civilisation”, which opened on Wednesday in the Indonesian capital, the King also explained that the absence of dialogue and harmony creates violence and extremism. 

He warned of forces that work on igniting religious and ethnic struggles, exploiting sectarian divisions especially in Syria.

“Sadly, today, there are forces that seek to hold this future back, by inciting religious and ethnic conflict,” the King added. 

“In the Syrian crisis, we are seeing the exploitation of sectarian divisions to justify violence and pursue power. But our region is not alone. The dangers of religious conflict threaten the entire Ummah, and indeed, all humanity. And we must respond.”

Dialogue, he stressed, is the solution to all sectarian divisions and religious conflicts and is the key to peace and prosperity. 

“Where there is conflict, dialogue can bring peace. Where there is peace, dialogue can bring harmony. Where there is harmony, dialogue can bring friendship. And where there is friendship, dialogue can bring joint, beneficial action.”

The King expressed Jordan’s readiness to help institutionalise values of dialogue and coexistence. 

“This is your work here today, and it is our work, together, in the days ahead. Jordan stands, with you, for truth, tolerance and mutual respect.”


Cooperation with Indonesia


In an extended meeting, attended by senior officials from Jordan and Indonesia, the King and Yudhoyono discussed the latest political developments in the Middle East, a Royal Court statement said.

The two leaders voiced keenness on enhancing cooperation in the educational, cultural, commercial and industrial fields.

The King underlined Jordan’s openness to all regional and international economies, stressing the Kingdom’s status as an economic link to around one billion consumers around the world due to its free trade agreements and economic partnerships with the world’s mega-economies. 

The Kingdom’s stability, strategic location and its competitive incentives for investors all contribute to its economic status as a hub for Middle Eastern markets, especially those of the Gulf Cooperation Council and Iraq, His Majesty said, according to the statement.

Talks also tackled the ongoing US-brokered Palestinian-Israeli peace negotiations, with the Monarch reiterating Jordan’s support to the talks on the basis of the two-state solution and the Arab Peace Initiative that can ultimately lead to the establishment of an independent Palestinian state on the pre-1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.

The two leaders stressed the need to strengthen cooperation and coordination among Muslim states and through the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation to galvanise international support for a just and comprehensive solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

On Syria, the King reiterated Jordan’s unaltered stance that advocates a comprehensive political solution to the crisis that safeguards Syria’s territorial unity and ends the suffering of its people, highlighting in this regard Jordan’s increasing burdens as a result of hosting the largest number of Syrian refugees. 

The Indonesian president stressed his country’s keenness on enhancing its relations with Jordan, commending Jordan’s assistance to Indonesian students studying Arabic and Islamic sciences at Jordanian universities.

Yudhoyono also expressed appreciation of the King’s efforts in achieving stability and peace in the Middle East, underlining Indonesia’s support to Jordan in facing the regional challenges.

The meeting was attended by HRH Prince Ghazi, the King’s chief adviser for religious and cultural affairs and personal envoy, Royal Court Chief Fayez Tarawneh, Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh, King’s Office Director Imad Fakhoury and Minister of Industry, Trade and Supply Hatem Halawani.

Also in Jakarta, the King met with representatives of the Indonesia Chamber of Industry and Commerce and other business leaders in the presence of their peers from Jordan’s private sector.

His Majesty called on the two country’s private sectors to utilise the advanced Jordanian-Indonesian political relations to build solid economic partnerships.

Jordan enjoys an attractive investment environment based on its security and stability, qualified human resources and advanced legislation, he added.

The Monarch also highlighted the pivotal role of the private sector as a partner in the development process and in creating job opportunities, calling on the two countries’ private sectors to enter joint ventures to contribute to achieving economic prosperity for both peoples.

The King also reviewed the distinctive advantages of Jordan’s strategic location, indicating that Jordan is keen on attracting foreign investors to implement vital transportation, IT, tourism, energy and water projects.

He invited Indonesian companies and economic institutions to visit Jordan to see its investment environment and explore partnership opportunities.

Jordan will continue improving the laws regulating the economic field to encourage and attract investments that can benefit the Kingdom, His Majesty added.

For their part, the Indonesian business leaders expressed their admiration of Jordan’s economic openness and its liberalisation of markets, in addition to the incentives it offers to investors, expressing readiness to cooperate with their Jordanian counterparts.

Indicating that Jordan is an important partner to Indonesia, Suryo B. Sulisto, the chairman of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said that there are still other fields to increase commercial exchange. 

Indonesia, he added, relies immensely on improving its ties with Jordan especially in religious tourism. 

Jordan Chamber of Commerce President Nael Kabariti said there is a strong chance to establish a Jordanian-Indonesian pharmaceutical industry, noting that the two sides have agreed on establishing an Indonesian commercial village in the port city of Aqaba.  

Kabariti also called for operating direct flights between Amman and Jakarta, citing their significance in facilitating the flow of tourists and businesspeople. 

On the sidelines of the King’s visit to Jakarta, Judeh and his Indonesian counterpart Marty Natalegawa signed a memorandum of understanding on enhancing political coordination between the two countries.

The two countries also signed an agreement to establish a Jordanian-Indonesian factory by the Jordan Phosphate Mines Company and the Indonesian PT Petrokimia Gresik with a $300 million capital to produce fertilisers from Jordanian phosphate.

His Majesty’s meeting with Indonesian economic figures was preceded by a meeting of Jordanian and Indonesian businessmen, during which Halawani presented a briefing on Jordan’s investment opportunities and possibilities for further economic cooperation.

Similar briefings were also presented by Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority Chief Commissioner Kamel Mahadin, Jordan Tourism Board Director Abed Al Razzaq Arabiyat, Development and Free Zones Commission CEO Taha Zboun and Private Hospitals Association President Fawzi Hamouri.

The value of Jordan’s exports to Indonesia — mostly olive oil, potash, aluminium and wood furniture — stood at $228 million in 2013, while its imports from the southeast Asian country reached $118 million in the same year, mostly plant oils, fish, beans, spices, wood and paper.  

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