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Jordan forging ahead with reform drive — King

May 12,2014 - Last updated at May 12,2014

AMMAN — Jordan has been able to forge steadily ahead with steps to achieve comprehensive reform despite regional circumstances, His Majesty King Abdullah said on Monday.

Delivering a lecture at the Royal College of Defence Studies in London, the King described the drive towards comprehensive reform as “a strategic option” that is in line with the aspirations of Jordanians for a better future. 

Addressing members of the college staff and students, the King said Jordan — in response to the adverse effects of regional changes — has sought to promote a culture of tolerance, dialogue and co-existence as an alternative to hard-line positions, bigotry and close-mindedness. 

His Majesty highlighted the steady strides the Kingdom has made towards reform, citing amendments to the Constitution and the drafting of laws regulating freedoms, political life and parties, according to a Royal Court statement. 

In parallel, the country has worked on political, economic and legislative reform, and on strengthening the spirit of citizenship, built on the basis of democracy, freedom of expression and broadening public participation in decision making, he said.  

Within the context of an integral reform approach, Jordan has adopted a comprehensive national charter on integrity, oversight and transparency, in a manner that boosts citizens’ confidence in state institutions, safeguards their rights and meets their aspirations, the King added.

The Monarch noted that the government will work in partnership with Parliament to boost good governance and enhance citizens’ participation in decision making, in accordance with a roadmap for decentralisation.

Jordan is continuing with its efforts to develop various pieces of legislation that promote political reform, including municipalities and elections laws, he added.

Turning to regional developments, the King reaffirmed Jordan’s position in support of a comprehensive political solution to the Syrian crisis that guarantees the unity of Syria’s territory and people, warning against the fallout of the crisis’ continuation on the Syrian people, neighbouring countries and the entire region.

He highlighted the growing burdens that the Kingdom is shouldering as a result of the continued influx of Syrian refugees, which exceeds its limited resources, calling on the international community to double its assistance to the Kingdom to enable it to perform its humanitarian mission. 

The King highlighted the responsibility that the international community and key regional powers should shoulder to preclude the spread of confusion and chaos. 

Referring to the Middle East peace process, His Majesty said the opportunity to support Palestinian- Israeli negotiations should not be wasted in order to revive the peace process in a manner that leads to the establishment of a Palestinian state on Palestinian national soil, living side by side with Israel, in accordance with the two-state solution. 

On the sidelines of the lecture, the King met with students at the college, including Arabs and Jordanians.

Established in 1927, the defence college prepares officers and officials of the UK, and future leaders from the private and public sectors for high responsibilities by developing their analytical powers, knowledge of defence and international security and strategic vision. 

Later in the day, the King left for California to continue his working visit, according to the Royal Court Twitter account. 

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