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King attends official dinner hosted by Singaporean president

By JT - Jun 21,2019 - Last updated at Jun 21,2019

His Majesty King Abdullah attends a dinner hosted by Singapore's President Halimah Yacob in Singapore on Thursday (Photo courtesy of Royal Court)

AMMAN — His Majesty King Abdullah on Thursday attended the official dinner hosted by Singaporean President Halimah Yacob at the Istana Palace, in honour of His Majesty and the accompanying delegation, attended by a number of senior Singaporean officials.

 In remarks at the dinner, attended by HRH Prince Hashim Bin Al Hussein, His Majesty’s chief royal councillor, and HRH Prince Ghazi Bin Muhammad, His Majesty’s chief adviser for religious and cultural affairs and personal envoy, King Abdullah highlighted the deep-rooted Jordanian-Singaporean ties and keenness to cement them, according to a Royal Court statement. 

His Majesty thanked President Halimah for the fruitful discussions held during the visit as well as the invitation to speak at the International Conference on Cohesive Societies (ICCS), the statement said.

 “Our partnership in this and other global initiatives reflects the long history of our two countries and peoples,” the King said.

 “I was reminded by His Majesty the late King Hussein that we as Jordan in 1965, were one of the four co-sponsors of UN membership for a newly independent Singapore,” His Majesty added.

 “And since the 1990s, I’ve had the honour and the pleasure of, in a different capacity, in an army uniform, to have a very strong relationship with the Singaporean armed forces, and there are many friends that we’ve had for so many years,” the King said.

 “I thank the government for giving me a wonderful opportunity yesterday to reengage with my friends from the armed forces,” His Majesty continued.

“Our ties are constantly expanding and we’re looking at new areas for partnership,” the King said at the dinner.

 Noting the regional challenges facing Jordan and Singapore, His Majesty said there are also “new opportunities and new pages that we can write that bring us much closer together”.

 “I want to thank again your government on behalf of our private sector, for the roundtable earlier today and the work done over the past two days in identifying opportunities in sectors like ICT, education, green energy, medical tourism and professional services,” the King added.

Commending the well-organised discussions, His Majesty said the next step is to follow up and ensure expectations are met, according to the statement.

“We really deeply admire your commitment, as Singapore, to coexistence, tolerance and moderation,” the King noted.

For her part, President Halimah noted that this is His Majesty’s third visit to Singapore, where he is among friends, thanking the King for accepting the invitation to deliver the keynote address at the ICCS, the statement said.

“Your Majesty has been a thought leader in promoting the message of religious moderation as well as the importance of interfaith dialogue and tolerance. As a multiracial and multireligious society, Singapore applauds your efforts and many contributions in this area,” she added.

“It was a great honour to hear Your Majesty’s valuable insights at the ICCS. I am confident that your wise words will have a positive and lasting impact, not just in our respective regions but also in other parts of the world,” the president said.

“In an increasingly polarised world where lines are drawn along ethnic, religious and other identities, we need strong voices of reason and advocates of peace among global leaders to protect our world from disintegrating. Your Majesty is one such voice,” President Halimah added.

“Ties between Singapore and Jordan continue to grow from strength to strength,” she said.

“As small countries with limited resources, both Singapore and Jordan need to remain nimble to deal with challenges in the external environment. I hope the Singapore-Jordan Business Forum that took place earlier today will pave the way for more business collaborations, and help strengthen economic links and promote mutual prosperity of our two countries,” the president said.

“Peace and stability in the Middle East have never been of greater importance. Your Majesty has been a strong advocate for peaceful dialogue and cooperation for Jordan and the entire region,” she added.

 “Your efforts in offering a safe haven to the millions fleeing conflict have been globally recognised. I would like to offer my belated congratulations to Your Majesty on receiving the Lamp of Peace prize earlier this year,” the president said.

“We are confident that under Your Majesty’s guidance and leadership, Jordan will continue to take an active role in the ongoing quest for peace in the Middle East,” she said.

“Your visit to Singapore has served to further strengthen the excellent relations between Singapore and Jordan. It has given us the opportunity to reaffirm our shared commitment to interfaith harmony and dialogue. Singapore looks forward to working with Jordan to weave even more threads of cooperation into our tapestry of relations,” President Halimah concluded.

Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi, Adviser to His Majesty for Communication and Coordination Bisher Al Khasawneh, Minister of Education and Minister of Higher Education Walid Maani, Trade Minister Tareq Hammouri, Digital Economy Minister Muthana Gharaibeh and Jordan’s Ambassador to Singapore Mahmoud Hmoud attended the dinner. 

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