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King holds summit with French president in Paris

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

AMMAN — His Majesty King Abdullah on Wednesday held a summit meeting with French President François Hollande in Paris, during which the two leaders discussed terror challenges, regional issues and bilateral relations, a Royal Court statement said. 

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

In Paris, the King met Wednesday with top business executives.

He is also due to meet senior officials, parliamentarians and religious leaders Thursday.

In a joint communiqué issued following the summit, the two sides reiterated their commitment to combat terrorism and support the new Iraqi government.

They also expressed their support for seeking a political transition in Syria and the resumption of peace talks between the Palestinians and the Israelis.

At the bilateral level, France renewed its commitment to support Jordan’s development plans and reforms, with focus on the energy and water sectors.

President Hollande held a dinner banquet in honour of Their Majesties and the accompanying delegation. 

Following is the full text of the communiqué:

President François Hollande welcomed His Majesty King Abdullah II, King of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, in Paris on September 17th. On this occasion, both leaders expressed their attachment to the strong and friendly bilateral ties binding the Kingdom of Jordan and France. They emphasised their commitment to enhance even further the cooperation between their two countries on bilateral and multilateral issues of common concern.

The two leaders emphasised the importance of continued high level political dialogue, including their fruitful cooperation in the United Nations Security Council, and stressed that the pursuit of regional and global peace and security is a priority for Jordan and France.

Both leaders voiced support for the concerted international efforts to combat the threat terrorist organisations and radical groups pose to regional and global security.

On the current crisis in Iraq, the two leaders extended support for the new government and expressed hope that it will fulfill the hopes and expectations of all components of the Iraqi people and engage them in the political process. The International Conference on Peace and Security in Iraq, held in Paris on September 15th, underscored the commitment of all participants to support the new Iraqi government in its fight against Daesh, by any means necessary, including military assistance.

HM King Abdullah II and President Hollande discussed the priority of solving the Palestinian-Israeli peace process and the need to restart the negotiations towards the establishment of an independent, democratic and viable Palestinian state, along the 1967 lines, living side-by-side in peace and security with Israel.

The parties reaffirmed their commitment to a comprehensive settlement to the Arab-Israeli conflict in accordance with UN resolutions, the Madrid principles and the Arab Peace Initiative. Both parties also asserted the importance of the role the European Union is playing in Middle East peacemaking.

HM King Abdullah II and President Hollande expressed their grave alarm at the escalation of violence in Syria and the continuous suffering of the Syrian people. They strongly condemned the violations of human rights and international humanitarian law by the Syrian authorities and the targeting of civilians by extremist groups on the basis of their ethnicity, religion or confessional affiliations. They underlined the urgency for a political transition leading to a comprehensive political solution to this ongoing conflict and expressed support for the efforts of UN Secretary General Representative Staffan de Mistura in this regard. King Abdullah II expressed Jordan’s gratitude for France’s support towards Syrian refugees as well as Jordanian host communities. Both leaders strongly called for the international community to continue to support Jordan in its efforts to face the humanitarian impact of the Syrian conflict in Jordan.

HM King Abdullah II and President Hollande affirmed their shared commitment to promote peace, development, education, interfaith dialogue and understanding, to counter intolerance, extremism, racism and violence against believers of all religions and against all places of worship, by spreading messages of tolerance and moderation.

During their talks, HM King Abdullah II and President Hollande reiterated their commitment to deepen the Franco-Jordanian economic partnership. The two leaders reviewed ways to increase bilateral trade and economic exchanges, with a special focus on water and environment, energy efficiency and renewable energy, transportation, agroindustry, education and ICT.

President Hollande and HM King Abdullah II stressed the mutual economic and social benefit of continued cooperation between public and private sectors of both countries. They welcomed the signature during the visit of several agreements and memoranda of understanding as a positive step, deepening the strategic bilateral relationship in key sectors such as sustainable economic and local development (in particular in Aqaba), water sustainability, renewable energy and media. In this sector, the MoU between the Jordan Radio and Television Corporation and France Media Monde will allow the broadcasting in Jordan of France 24, RFI and Monte Carlo Doualiya programmes.

Committed to overcome the challenge of acute water scarcity, France and Jordan have developed a fruitful co-operation, with a cumulative amount of development projects worth €250 million over the past 10 years. The French companies which contribute developing the water infrastructures in Jordan were recently awarded five contracts for a total amount of €82.2 million with the financial support of the French government. President Hollande and HM King Abdullah renewed their support to the development of such infrastructures and the implementation of policy reforms. They underlined the importance of the Jordanian Red Sea-Dead Sea project to secure the supply of freshwater, salvage the Dead Sea and promote regional cooperation.

Both leaders expressed satisfaction for these comprehensive and trustful talks between two partners and friends. HM King Abdullah II expressed his appreciation to President Hollande for making the visit productive and successful.

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