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King reviews partnership, region with Belgian PM, EU officials

By JT - Dec 13,2018 - Last updated at Dec 13,2018

AMMAN — His Majesty King Abdullah on Wednesday held talks with Prime Minister of Belgium Charles Michel, who affirmed his country’s keenness to support Jordan’s efforts towards achieving regional security and stability. 

During the meeting held in Brussels, attended by HRH Prince Abdullah Bin Ghazi, His Majesty voiced his appreciation for Belgium’s role in supporting the Kingdom’s economy, according to a Royal Court statement.

The King and Michel also discussed ways to enhance mutual cooperation at all levels, particularly in political and economic fields, underscoring the need for coordination on various regional and international issues to achieve mutual interests and enhance global security and stability.

His Majesty congratulated the prime minister over electing his country as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), stressing the vital role Belgium holds within the EU and the UNSC in dealing with key challenges in the region and supporting its security. 

The two sides also went over the latest regional developments, especially the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with the King underlining the need for intensifying global efforts aimed at moving the peace process forward on the basis of a two-state solution that guarantees the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital.

The two leaders also reviewed the challenges that the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) is facing, and in this regard, King Abdullah voiced his appreciation to Belgium’s support for the agency to continue providing services for refugees.

He also expressed appreciation for the European country’s assistance to the Kingdom in shouldering the burdens of the Syrian refugee crisis, affirming the importance of the third Brussels Conference on Supporting the Future of Syria and the Region, slated for April 2019. 

For his part, Michel commended the Kingdom’s humanitarian role in hosting refugees, with the two parties stressing the need for a political solution to the Syrian crisis that preserves the unity of Syria and guarantees refugees’ safe return.

An official reception ceremony was held earlier in the day to welcome the King to Brussels, according to the statement.

The discussions were attended by Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi, Minister of Industry, Trade and Supply Tareq Hammouri and Jordan’s Ambassador to Belgium Yousef Bataineh.

Also on Wednesday, the King held talks with European Council President Donald Tusk in Brussels, focused on means to enhance Jordan-EU relations.

The King and Tusk stressed the need to build on the Jordanian-EU partnership agreements in order to open new horizons for cooperation in the economic, investment, trade and military fields, according to a Royal Court statement.

Talks, also attended by Prince Abdullah, tackled the agreement the Kingdom signed with the bloc in 2016 to ease rules-of-origin requirements for Jordanian products exported to Europe. 

His Majesty and Tusk also went over the repercussions of the Syrian refugee crisis on Jordan’s economy and the EU’s assistance in this regard, the statement said.

The King underlined the importance of the upcoming London conference in supporting the economy, investment and job creation in refugee-burdened Jordan.

The EU’s role in pushing the Mideast peace process forward was also discussed during the meeting, which was attended by Safadi, Hammouri and Jordan’s ambassador to Belgium. 

His Majesty also met with EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini in Brussels, another Royal Court statement said. 

Talks touched on the relations between Jordan and the EU and the opportunities to expand them in various fields.

Mogherini stressed that the EU views Jordan as a key partner and appreciates its role in achieving peace and enhancing security and stability in the region.

Discussions also covered the EU’s support for Jordan to enable it to face the challenges posed by the crises in the region, where His Majesty voiced his appreciation for the EU’s support, according to the statement.

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