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Shared threat, shared response, shared security

Jun 25,2016 - Last updated at Jun 26,2016

On Tuesday, we were all shocked and saddened by the cowardly terrorist attack on Jordan’s brave Border Guards and soldiers near Rakban. All those who gave their lives protecting Jordan’s borders will be remembered with utmost pride and respect for their being willing to pay the ultimate price for us all. 

In the UK too, we know the pain that violence and senseless killing brings. Recently, we lost a beloved member of our Parliament, Ms Jo Cox, in an attack that appears to have been designed to instil fear and sow division. 

Nothing can ever prepare us for the pain that these kinds of events cause us. But we can choose how to respond. We can choose to be cowed and fearful. If we do so, we let the terrorists and criminals who try to control us win. 

Or we can choose to hold our heads high and to refuse to be intimidated. His Majesty has been crystal clear that this will be Jordan’s choice: Jordan will respond with an iron fist to all those who would threaten us here. 

As your close friend and ally, this too is the UK’s choice. Our prime minister, David Cameron, said in tribute to Ms Cox that where people attempt to sow division and hatred, regardless of who they are and their reasons, we must drive this out. 

This is why we are working side by side with you in your efforts to defeat the criminal gang Daesh, and end the spread of its poisonous ideology. Jordan and the UK are close partners in the international coalition that is slowly but surely defeating them, driving them backwards from whence they came. 

Closer to home, we are working hard in partnership with you to help further strengthen your security. Since the start of the crisis in Syria we have provided more than half-a-billion dollars in support to your resilience and security, and this year alone we will be spending more than $150 million more. 

Half of this will go to the Jordanian communities who are so generously hosting the refugees from Syria. We announced this week a further $34 million and continue to put high priority on the London commitments being swiftly met.

This funding also goes towards important partnerships with your security and armed forces. Our militaries continue to develop their historic relationship — earlier this year 1,500 British troops took part with the Jordan Armed Forces-Arab Army in the joint exercise Shamal Storm. Our soldiers learned from one another as they worked side by side, making both our militaries stronger. 

Extremism in all its forms is a threat we must face together. It does not respect differences in language, race or nation. Therefore, what happens here in Jordan as you face the threat from extremism will affect us in the UK. In sum, your security is our security, and I am proud that we will continue to stand resolutely beside you as we defeat terrorism and extremism, in the short term and the longer.



The writer is the UK’s ambassador to Jordan. He contributed this article to The Jordan Times.

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