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King discusses cooperation, regional concerns with French officials, lawmakers

By JT - Sep 18,2014 - Last updated at Sep 18,2014

AMMAN — His Majesty King Abdullah on Thursday met with French Prime Minister Manuel Valls and several other French officials and religious leaders to discuss means to boost bilateral relations and the latest regional developments. 

His Majesty, accompanied by Her Majesty Queen Rania, is on a two-day official visit to France en route to New York, where he will attend the 69th UN General Assembly meetings.

During a meeting held at the French prime ministry in Paris, King Abdullah pointed out the strong ties between Jordan and France, and means to promote cooperation between the two sides, especially in the economic and investment sectors.

King Abdullah highlighted efforts to achieve peace and stability in the region, stressing the centrality of the Palestinian question, according to a Royal Court statement. 

In this regard, the King underscored the need to pursue the two-state solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict leading to the establishment of a viable and independent Palestinian state — in accordance with the 1967 lines — with East Jerusalem as its capital.

Regarding the crisis in Syria, the Monarch reasserted Jordan’s dedication to finding a comprehensive political solution to the crisis in the neighbouring state. 

He also highlighted challenges and burdens borne by the Kingdom as a result of hosting more than 1.4 million Syrians and expressed appreciation of France’s support for Jordan to continue with its humanitarian mission.

His Majesty reiterated Jordan’s concern for Iraq’s security and the unity of its people and territories, noting that the solution to the Iraqi crisis lies in a political process that engages all components of the Iraqi people. 

He cautioned that failure to solve the Middle East crises will encourage radical tendencies, bigotry and terrorism, stressing the importance of effective international cooperation to put an end to such trends, which pose a threat to regional and international security and stability.    

For his part, Valls expressed his country’s commitment to boosting cooperation with Jordan and commended the King’s astute conduct in dealing with various regional issues and his support for efforts to achieve regional peace. 

At separate meetings with President of French National Assembly Claude Bartolone and French Senate President Jean-Pierre Bel on Thursday, the King stressed the historic ties between the two countries and highlighted means to foster them in all fields. 

King Abdullah outlined progress in the Kingdom’s comprehensive drive towards reform and the steps achieved so far, in terms of endorsing several important pieces of legislation that seek to regulate political life and increase public participation in the decision-making process.  

During his visit to Paris, the Monarch also met with leading clerics in France with whom he discussed their role and responsibilities as pillars of peace to disseminate values of tolerance and coexistence among the followers of the Abrahmic religions. 

The King briefed the religious leaders on Jordan’s efforts to defend Islam and refute the negative attitudes towards Muslims that have emerged in the West as a result of the actions of extremist groups (see infographic on key interfaith initiatives launched by His Majesty).

The attending scholars stressed the need to boost dialogue and focus on the joint commonalities between followers of different religions. 

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