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The King’s Speech from the Throne

Nov 14,2017 - Last updated at Nov 14,2017

On Sunday, His Majesty King Abdullah addressed the Jordanian National Assembly marking the inauguration of the second ordinary session of both Senate and House of Representatives. 

By any standards it was a glorious day for Jordanians witnessing the smooth, peaceful and confident running of their democratic process, while significant parts of the region, most unfortunately, continue to sink in endless political uncertainty. 

This week also, the country remembered the great legacy of King Hussein who, after 47 years of relentless struggle and outstanding leadership, handed the majestic torch over to his son, King Abdullah, to continue along the same road of glory and constructive national commitment; and this exactly is what King Abdullah has faithfully, tirelessly and perfectly been doing since. 

The Jordanian tradition has always been characterised by the elements of stability, despite the mounting challenges and heavy impact of the regional crises on the local scene from all around.

However, maintaining Jordanian democratic tradition is not an easy feat. But no matter how high the cost may be, it is a price worth paying when constant adherence to democracy and uninterrupted political reform form the basic guarantees for keeping the country safe, secure and stable, year after year. 

The King’s speech was brief, but it was delivered elegantly and eloquently, loaded with precise, relevant, straightforward, timely and essential messages.

One of the messages was the Monarch’s satisfaction with the assembly’s cooperation with the government, a point that had been repeatedly urged by the leader whose exceptional abilities in steering the ship through stormy waters to the shores of safety has been recognised worldwide.

“At this key stage in our democratisation process marked by continued achievements we commend the efforts recently exerted by this esteemed assembly in cooperation with the government, which were characterised by constructiveness, and a spirit of responsibility and partnership,” King Abdullah said, noting with content “the endorsement of a package of vital legislation encompassing several key sectors, in line with our keenness to develop the performance of the judiciary, enhance the rule of law, and nurture the foundations of our civil state”.

The King urged the assembly “to continue with this approach of cooperation between the executive and legislative authorities”.

His Majesty then addressed the government, whose members were also present under the dome, as required by the constitution, delivering an equally direct and explicit message.

He highlighted “the urgent issues that were detailed in the government’s performance report for the past year and published in June, as well as in its policy statement, and in the last two Letters of Designation” and stressed that the established priorities “require the utmost engagement from this esteemed assembly in terms of oversight and legislation in the service of Jordanians, whose security, dignity, and right to a better future are the goals of all exerted effort”.

And while reminding us of his conviction that the “government must remain transparent, realistic and proactive, without hesitation”, King Abdullah urged that “with the phase of strategising and planning complete, the government must now focus on effective implementation, for it is up to us to take matters into our own hands. No one will solve our problems but us”, adding: “We must harness our will, potential, and energy to confidently and resolutely take on the challenges before us.”

This was not our leader’s first time expressing his firm stand on the matter that we, the Jordanian people, must from now on rely on ourselves and our limited resources in handling our economic issues in particular, and that the chapter in which we sought foreign aid must come to a close.

If this involves some hardships, some difficulties and some austerity measures, then so be it, but eventually, with good government management combined with peoples’ preparedness to shoulder their part of the responsibility and demonstrate a better understanding of the nature of the prevailing circumstances, things will brighten up.

Once we are liberated from the strings often attached to foreign aid, our political decision will be buttressed by self-reliance.

The King’s statement did not go too much in detail about the deteriorating situation in the region. He did say, however, that “Jordan will continue to uphold its historical role as defender of the causes of our Arab and Muslim nations, foremost of which is the Palestinian cause and the establishment of an independent Palestinian state on Palestinian national soil, with Jerusalem as its capital, as well as safeguarding Islamic and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem”.

We should remember that King Abdullah has never missed an opportunity to stress the point that Middle Eastern instability, turmoil, radicalisation, terror, conflict and wars have been feeding on the disastrous consequences of the injustice imposed upon Palestine seven decades ago.

He insists that only after resolving this chronic conflict solid ground for stability can be envisaged.

The King received loud and a well-deserved applause in the House when he paid tribute and offered a salute of respect, support and appreciation for the sacrifices and heroism of the armed forces, commending the “relentless efforts of our brave Jordanian Armed Forces-Arab Army and security agencies to safeguard the homeland, its prosperity and independence, day and night”.

If the Jordanians have the right to be proud of the fact that their country has managed to remain an exceptional oasis of stability, security and peace thanks to the wisdom of its Hashemite leadership and the remarkable abilities of King Abdullah in such critical times, the highly recognised competence of the security forces and of a mature Jordanian populace notwithstanding, they share the concerns of all their brethren in the neighbouring countries in which hardship dominates.

 

The Jordanian people have done their utmost to help by opening their borders and sharing the little they have with every guest seeking safety and refuge.

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