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King holds talks with New Zealand PM, parliamentary leaders

Amman, Wellington agree to exchange business, parliamentary visits

By JT - Nov 30,2016 - Last updated at Nov 30,2016

His Majesty King Abdullah holds talks with Prime Minister of New Zealand John Key in Wellington on Tuesday (Photo courtesy of Royal Court)

AMMAN — His Majesty King Abdullah on Tuesday discussed economic, trade and defence cooperation with Prime Minister of New Zealand John Key, according to a Royal Court statement. 

During the talks held at the New Zealand Parliament, the King and Key also looked into the prospects of Jordan’s benefiting from New Zealand’s expertise in the fields of agriculture, water saving techniques, renewable energy and vocational training and education through increasing New Zealand scholarships to Jordanian MA students. 

They urged the private sectors in both countries to exchange visits in order to check on investment opportunities. 

The talks focused on efforts to combat terrorism when King Abdullah stressed Jordan's stance that calls for dealing with terrorism within a holistic strategy and with the participation of all the concerned parties. 

As for the Syrian crisis, His Majesty highlighted the importance of intensifying efforts to reach a political solution that engages all Syrian society segments. 

The Monarch and Key discussed the Syrian refugee burden the Kingdom has had to deal with for the past five years. The King reiterated a call on the international community to shoulder its responsibilities towards these refugees and host countries, especially Jordan, which covers almost two-thirds of the hosting costs. 

They discussed efforts to achieve peace between the Palestinians and the Israelis and stressed the need to intensify ongoing efforts to revive Palestinian-Israeli peace negotiations based on a two-state solution. 

The talks also focused on developments in Iraq, with both sides renewing support for Iraq to restore stability and the unity of its lands as well as supporting the Iraqis in an inclusive political process and the fight against terrorist organisations. 

For his part, Key commended Jordan’s role in achieving security and stability on regional and international levels, noting that his country views His Majesty’s visit as an important opportunity to boost relations in all fields. 

The talks were attended by Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh, along with high-ranking New Zealand ministers.

On the sidelines of the talks, His Majesty visited the Weta Studios for filmmaking in Wellington and while touring its facilities, he called for benefiting from Jordanian tourist attractions in filmmaking, citing several experiences whereby international films were shot in those locations. 

Also on Tuesday, His Majesty held meetings with parliamentary leaders.

During His Majesty’s meeting with Speaker of the House of Representatives David Carter, they discussed Jordan’s positions on developments in the region.

Carter praised the Kingdom’s continuous efforts to achieve peace and stability in the Middle East, the statement said. 

In an interview with the Jordan News Agency, Petra, Carter said he is going to explore the possibility of increasing the visits of Jordanian parliamentarians to the New Zealand house of representatives to acquaint them with New Zealand’s legislative experience, how parties are formed and how they function. 

His Majesty met with President of the House of Representatives’ Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee MP Mark Mitchell and its members, with whom he discussed boosting cooperation in the field of security and defence as well as the challenges in the region. 

Mitchell told Petra that New Zealand views Jordan as one of the most effective countries in the Middle East. 

King Abdullah also discussed with Leader of the Opposition MP Andrew Little the importance of activating means of coordination and dialogue between the two countries over issues of mutual interest. 

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