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Royal Hashemite Court (Jordan)

King, Australian Governor General seek better ties
Amman, 2 September 2012

His Majesty King Abdullah on Sunday voiced Jordan’s appreciation for the international support received by the Kingdom to host Syrian refugees, reiterating the need to reach a political solution to the crisis in Syria.

During a meeting with Australia’s Governor General Quentin Bryce, King Abdullah commended Australia’s support to Jordan in dealing with the influx of Syrian refugees.

Warning against the ramifications of the Syrian crisis in the region, the King cited the burden caused by the continuous influx of Syrian refugees to Jordan as a result of the deteriorating situation in Syria.

During the meeting, held at the Royal offices in Hummar in Amman, His Majesty and Bryce also discussed regional developments and ways to enhance cooperation.

His Majesty underlined Jordan’s commitment to developing cooperation with Australia at all levels to best serve the interests of the two countries.

The King also highlighted available opportunities for economic cooperation with Australia, particularly in investments with the contribution of the private sector.

Concerning the Middle East peace process, the King underlined the centrality of the Palestinian issue and the need for the international community to help the Palestinian and Israeli sides return to direct negotiations.

His Majesty stressed the need for negotiations to address final status issues and lead to the establishment of an independent and viable Palestinian state that lives side-by-side with Israel.

For her part, Bryce, who invited the King to visit Australia, commended His Majesty’s efforts to achieve comprehensive reform in Jordan, in addition to his role in bringing peace and stability to the region.

She highlighted her country’s commitment to developing cooperation with the Kingdom, stressing Australia’s support for the two-state solution.

Bryce and her husband Michael Bryce, who arrived in Jordan on Saturday, were received by Their Majesties King Abdullah and Queen Rania in an official ceremony earlier on Sunday.

In press statements following the meeting, Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh said Jordan’s ties with Australia are distinguished at the political level, but said trade cooperation needs more attention.

He noted that a date for Their Majesties’ visit to Australia will be set in due time.

Judeh said Australia has donated $16.5 million to Jordan during the visit of Foreign Minister Bob Carr last month to support Syrian refugees.

Later on Sunday, Their Majesties held a dinner banquet in honour of Bryce and the accompanying delegation.

The trade volume between Jordan and Australia stood at around $131 million in 2011, with the balance of trade squarely tilted in favour of Australia. Exports to Australia reached $6.6 million last year, while imports from the country were nearly $125 million. The Kingdom’s exports to Australia amounted to $4 million during the first six months of this year and imports from the country reached $108 million during the same period.