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King holds talks with German Chancellor on ties, regional developments

By JT - Oct 09,2016 - Last updated at Oct 09,2016

His Majesty King Abdullah and German Chancellor Angela Merkel hold talks in Berlin on Friday (Photo courtesy of Royal Court)

AMMAN – His Majesty King Abdullah on Friday discussed with German Chancellor Angela Merkel ways to boost bilateral cooperation and the latest regional and international developments.

In statements to the press ahead of the meeting at the German Chancellery in Berlin, His Majesty reiterated Jordan's keenness to boost relations with Germany in all fields and to continue coordination between the two countries on regional issues.

The King thanked Germany for its historic and recent support to Jordan, particularly in helping the Kingdom cope with the burden of hosting refugees, who, he noted, made up 20 per cent of Jordan’s population. 

“Germany came [to the London conference] with a very strong support package to a country that is in desperate need of support for not only our young people but also for the refugees,” His Majesty said. 

The King also commended Merkel personally for “being able to raise the moral bar very high on the challenges of refugees”. 

His Majesty added: “If it hadn’t been for the role of Germany and yourself, I think that our region, I think Africa and the world would be in a lot worse position”. 

The King expressed his willingness to work alongside the German chancellor in the future. “Whatever we can do in Jordan in a small way to thank you and thank Germany’s support, we will always be by your side,” he pledged. 

Welcoming the King, Merkel said the two would discuss in detail the outcomes of the London conference in February, which she said included increased enrollment in schools and employment among Syrian refugees. 

“However… this is only a first step. Therefore, we will be considering which further steps we can take,” the chancellor said.

Acknowledging the difficult situation Jordan is facing, bordering Syria and Iraq, Merkel praised the King’s energy in seeking to improve the Kingdom’s position.

“We know with how much energy the King is fighting to ameliorate the economic situation so that the young people have hope, and we want to contribute to that,” she said. 

Also on Friday, the King held talks with German Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs Frank-Walter Steinmeier and discussed ways to enhance bilateral relations and the latest developments in the Middle East. 

The meeting tackled regional and international efforts in the war against terrorism, where His Majesty stressed the importance of working within a comprehensive strategy to combat this threat that targets the security and stability of the entire world. 

Both sides also discussed the Syrian crisis and its repercussions, with the King renewing his call on main stakeholders in the international community to intensify their endeavours to reach a political solution, and help Syria’s neighbouring countries deal with the influx of refugees.

For his part, Steinmeier expressed his appreciation for Jordan’s efforts to achieve peace and address various challenges in the Middle East.

Meanwhile,  Jordan and Germany on Friday signed a Joint Declaration of Intent (JDI) to boost energy dialogue. The JDI, signed on the sidelines of His Majesty King Abdullah’s visit to Germany, was signed by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign and Expatriate Affairs Nasser Judeh and Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy in Germany Sigmar Gabriel. Under the agreement, the two countries will embark on a bilateral dialogue on energy issues and the development of sustainable energy infrastructure, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

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