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King says Jordan should be regional investment hub to counter COVID-19 impact

By JT - Jul 16,2020 - Last updated at Jul 16,2020

His Majesty King Abdullah speaks during a meeting with a group of political, economic and academic figures at Al Husseiniya Palace on Wednesday (Photo courtesy of Royal Court)

AMMAN — His Majesty King Abdullah on Wednesday noted the need to maintain Arab coordination to counter the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic and its ramifications, especially its impact in the coming months on some countries’ food reserves.

At a meeting with a group of political, economic, and academic figures at Al Husseiniya Palace, attended by HRH Crown Prince Hussein, King Abdullah said the main challenge in the region and even for some African countries lies in food security and the lack of sufficient food reserves for 2021, according to a Royal Court statement.

Noting that Jordan has enough reserves to cover a year, His Majesty urged regional cooperation to face the repercussions of COVID-19 and said the Kingdom is ready to help.

Countries in the region should look out for each other, the King continued, expecting this issue to be a priority in 2021.

Jordan can provide assistance to a number of countries by offering pharmaceutical products and medical supplies, His Majesty said, adding that this positive engagement from the Kingdom has encouraged other countries to also offer their support.

The King referred to efforts to develop the pharmaceutical, medical supplies and advanced agricultural industries, as well as food processing.

His Majesty added that Jordan should be a regional investment hub for efforts to counter COVID-19 and assist countries in the region, which faces myriad challenges in terms of refugee needs, medical issues and food security.

At the same time, a number of foreign countries are interested in investing in Jordan to make it the launchpad to counter regional challenges and a hub to address the impact of COVID-19 in the Middle East, the King explained.

His Majesty called for flexibility and learning lessons from Jordan’s experience amidst the COVID-19 crisis, urging transparency and seriousness in taking action.

Warning against going back to square one in 2021, the King said he believes Jordan will come out stronger from the COVID-19 crisis.

Commending coordination among the government and security and military institutions to counter COVID-19, His Majesty added that state institutions are constantly reviewing their actions and decisions to course-correct when necessary.

The King said it is important to coordinate on any decision that impacts citizens and to explain it to the people in order to prepare public opinion for what it might entail.

Responding to comments from the attendees, His Majesty stressed the importance of transparency and respecting citizens with regards to the rule of law, affirming that the court has the final say.

Turning to the Palestinian cause, the King reiterated Jordan’s clear and steadfast position, adding that the Kingdom is constantly coordinating with the Palestinians.

His Majesty said outreach to foreign governments and parliaments is aimed at highlighting the danger of unilateral Israeli measures.

The King stressed the need to end the Palestinian-Israeli conflict on the basis of the two-state solution, guaranteeing the establishment of an independent, sovereign, and viable Palestinian state on the June 4, 1967 lines with East Jerusalem as its capital.

His Majesty reaffirmed that any unilateral Israeli measure to annex West Bank lands is unacceptable and would undermine the prospects of achieving peace and stability in the region.

The King also highlighted Jordan’s strong ties with Iraq and its support for Iraqi efforts to counter COVID-19, adding that the Kingdom maintains coordination with other Arab countries in this domain.

The attendees commended His Majesty’s position on the Palestinian cause, noting that Israel would violate the Peace Treaty with Jordan if it moves ahead with redrawing borders and impacting security issues.

They also paid tribute to the King’s efforts and directives to the government over the past period, leading to the successful handling of the COVID-19 crisis.

Attendees at the meeting urged investing in Jordan’s human capital by focusing on technical and vocational education, calling also for encouraging scientific research.

They called for adopting technological solutions in crisis management, stressing the importance of compiling data and documenting the measures taken in the past period to highlight success stories and shortcomings.

The attendees also pointed to the need to maintain stability in legislation while ensuring that laws are in line with international human rights accords.

Royal Hashemite Court Chief Yousef Issawi, Adviser to His Majesty for Communication and Coordination Bisher Al Khasawneh and Adviser to His Majesty for Policies and Media Kemal Al Nasser also attended the meeting.


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