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Saudi Arabia’s NEOM project good news for Jordan, region — officials

Minister says agencies prepared for any terror threat, borders secure

By JT - Oct 26,2017 - Last updated at Oct 26,2017

The city of Aqaba is likely to have a boost in investments as Saudi Arabia starts a large-scale project dubbed NEOM, officials say (File photo)

AMMAN — Minister of State for Media Affairs Mohammad Momani on Thursday said that the NEOM project, launched by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman within the 2030 Saudi vision, will contribute to increasing economic growth rates and enhancing investment in the region.

A 26,000-square-kilometre project to be implemented on the shores of the Red Sea, NEOM extends over Jordanian and Egyptian lands, in addition to Saudi Arabia, at a cost of $500 billion.

In an interview on Jordan Television’s morning show “News and Dialogue”, Momani, stressed that Jordan places great importance in investment, adding that there is high level of coordination with Saudi Arabia regarding the scheme.

Being held in three countries, the project is envisioned to improve economic conditions in the area and positively reflect on its development rates, added Momani, who is also the government spokesperson. 

Meanwhile, Chief Commissioner of the Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority (ASEZA) Nasser Shraideh has said in a statement that the town of Aqaba “will be part of the global project NEOM, which will attract international economic activity to the region”.

He added in a statement e-mailed to The Jordan Times Thursday that the project is a declaration of confidence in Jordan's security and stability and “acknowledgement of the scale of achievements in Aqaba”.

The ASEZA chief pointed out that as soon as the project is launched, it will stimulate economic activity in Aqaba in particular, and in Jordan in general, adding that more meetings and consultations will take place between the Jordanian and Saudi sides, to develop detailed programmes and timetables.

Commenting on the creation of a new capital, the minister said that Prime Minister Hani Mulki had talked clearly about having initial studies and blueprints to establish a new capital, which will not be connected with Amman and will be out of its current borders.

He added that public departments would be transferred to the new capital, which will be constructed in partnership with the private sector, especially that the Treasury cannot fund the building costs under current economic challenges.

As for terrorists who fled war zones in neighbouring countries, Momani stressed that Jordan will not tolerate any aggression on its security, and that “death is the inevitable destiny for whoever tries to approach our borders”.

In this regard, he stressed that concerned agencies will deal with terrorists using the proper military and security means that best defend the country’s interests and security and the safety of its people.

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