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Jordan, Netherlands share views on region, world issues — diplomat

By Raed Omari - Apr 26,2014 - Last updated at Apr 26,2014

AMMAN — Jordan and the Netherlands see eye-to-eye on many regional and international matters, chief of which is the resolution of crises and conflicts through international law and institutions, according to Dutch Ambassador to Amman Paul van den IJssel.

Amman and Amsterdam share “identical” views on many regional and international matters, he told journalists at a recent meeting held on the occasion of “King’s Day”.

Van den IJssel also described the nature of festivities the Dutch people are organising during first national holiday under a king in a very long time.

“It’s a very special King’s Day because it is the first since 1890. It is the first time the Dutch are ruled by a man,” he said.

The event is in honour of the Netherlands’ newly installed monarch, King Willem Alexander, who assumed the throne last year as the first male monarch from the Netherlands’ ruling House of Orange. 

Marked on April 27, King’s Day replaces the traditional “Queen’s Day”.

“We celebrate ourselves and the country. We celebrate our liberty, freedoms and popular monarchy. During such a national holiday, the whole country literary turns orange, as it is the national colour of our royal family,” the ambassador said.

Noting that strong ties link the Jordanian and Dutch royal families, Van den IJssel said His Majesty King Abdullah was the guest of King Willem-Alexander while he was in The Hague in March to participate in the third Nuclear Security Summit.

He explained that his country, like Jordan, sees in the two-state solution the best approach to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

“Like Jordan, we support US Secretary of State John Kerry’s peace initiative and we hope it will work out,” he said.

The ambassador added that his country is helping the Palestinians stimulate their economy. 

“We want to help the Palestinians export their products through Aqaba Port to the world.”

Turning to Syria, Van den IJssel said his country calls for finding a political solution to the ongoing crisis, expressing his country’s appreciation of the Kingdom’s humanitarian assistance to Syrian refugees and its understanding of the accompanying burdens.

“We are fully aware of Jordan’s woes resulting from hosting large numbers of Syrian refugees. Last year, the Netherlands extended 70 million euros to Jordan to help alleviate its burdens brought on by the refugee crisis,” he said.

The ambassador also commended the status of human rights, gender equality and religious freedoms in Jordan.

He described Jordanian-Dutch economic relations as “excellent”, but said more can be done to further them.

Jordan’s imports from the Netherlands amounted to 300 million euros last year, while the Kingdom’s exports to totalled 60 million euros in 2013, according to the envoy. 

“That is not a bad indication, as the Dutch economy is bigger than that of Jordan.”

Van den IJssel said his country’s involvement in Jordan is best seen in Aqaba, noting that many Dutch engineering, construction and consultancy companies are operating the southern port city.

“Located within a turbulent region, we see Jordan as a safe place for investments and as a hub to other markets in the Middle East.” 

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