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Brazil and Jordan: 60 years of diplomatic relations

Sep 07,2019 - Last updated at Sep 07,2019

The year 2019 has been, so far, a very important year for the bilateral relations between Brazil and Jordan.

This year, we celebrated three landmarks in the relationship between our countries: on March 1, we commemorated 35 years of the opening of the Brazilian resident embassy in Amman; on April 6, the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between our two countries in 1959 and on September 1, also 35 years of the opening of the Jordanian resident embassy in Brasilia. Today, Brazil celebrates its 197th anniversary of independence, another important day to cherish the friendly relations of our governments and peoples.

A year-long, special programme of cultural events, which already included a food and music festival, a film week and a Brazilian contemporary art exhibition at the Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts will end on September 18 with a classical music concert by JOrchestra lead by the world-renowned Brazilian conductress Ligia Amadio at the Roman Odeon Theatre in downtown Amman. It will be a very special event to mark our very special bilateral relations.

Despite our geographical distance, bilateral political relations between Brazil and Jordan have always been excellent and solid. Brazil considers Jordan a beacon of stability and moderation in a region surrounded by conflicts, and we follow attentively the Jordanian positions regarding regional issues in the Middle East. This is an important role that we also try to play in our own region.

Moreover, we share common positions in multilateral fora, as well as in the most important global issues. We admire, for instance, His Majesty King Abdullah’s leadership in the global fight against terror and extremism. This is an area where we can learn a lot from the Jordanian experience and the cooperation in this field has already started. 

We also acknowledge and praise the Jordanian government and people for their generosity in historically hosting such a large number of refugees. This represents another similarity that brings our countries close together: hospitality. Brazil is open to immigrants and hosts nowadays more than 12 million Arab descendants. The Arab influence in the formation of our national character is significant in all realms of society, particularly in areas such as the arts, the architecture and cuisine.

During my term as head of the embassy, which is unfortunately about to end after a very happy four years in Amman, I tried my best to strengthen our bilateral economic relations and to foster cooperation in many fields, by resuming the high-level visits after a five-year hiatus. In the fields of defence, security and intelligence, our relations were strengthened particularly after the visits of the Brazilian ministers of defence and of the Cabinet for Institutional Security to Jordan in December 2017 and August 2018, respectively. On March 2018, during the official visit to Amman of the then foreign minister Aloísio Nunes Ferreira, he signed with his counterpart Ayman Safadi a bilateral agreement on technical cooperation, an important tool to create new possibilities of cooperation, for instance, in the fields of agriculture and industrial development. Many other agreements are already in the pipeline for signing, in different phases of negotiation.

The bilateral trade has been reasonable in the last years, but it is still below its full potential. Brazilian beef, chicken, coffee and airplanes are highly appreciated in Jordan. In the last decade, the bilateral trade flow was around $240 million per year. This year, trade statistics show that we might overcome the $300 million barrier and break the 2008 record as the best year in our trade history. I also hope that next year our countries will be able to finally resume the negotiations of the Mercosur-Jordan free trade agreement, which will strengthen our economic relations even further.

 

The writer is the Brazilian ambassador to Jordan. He contributed this article to The Jordan Times

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