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Royal Hashemite Court (Jordan)

King congratulates citizens on Independence Day, opens WEF
Amman, 25 May 2013

His Majesty King Abdullah on Saturday congratulated the Jordanian people on the occasion of the Independence Day.

In opening remarks at the World Economic Forum on the Middle East and North Africa on Saturday, King Abdullah said “independence stands for the sacrifices made by our forefathers to free the national will, and build a better future. Our independence embodies sacrifice, belonging, and a sense of responsibility to build our homeland and preserve its security, stability, and achievements.”

“We celebrate our beloved country. We honour our citizens, past and present. And we look to the future. I am delighted that you are here to join us,” the King told the WEF opening session, in the presence of Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah, His Royal Highness Crown Prince Al Hussein bin Abdullah II, Royal family members, and senior officials.

“Reform, democracy, and peace are always works in progress, and progress demands we keep moving forward,” the King said.

“We are emerging from an era of historic economic challenge: a global downturn; regional dislocations; slow recovery in major world economies. The job ahead is not simply to rebound. We must spur new growth.”

“We seek inclusive growth, the key to job creation, now and in the future. And Jordan recognises the central role of the private sector. For more than ten years, we have worked to remove barriers to enterprise, and to integrate into the global and regional economies. Our free-trade agreements link us to more than one billion consumers. We have invested in infrastructure, public services, and Jordan's greatest asset, our people. ICT companies among others have turned to our young, tech-savvy workforce, helping Jordanian ICT become a leading sector at home, and a leader in the region.”

His Majesty said the ongoing political reform process is “laying the foundations of effective, party-based, parliamentary government secured by our Constitution, the backbone of our country’s rights and laws. This January, parliamentary elections brought one of the highest voter turnouts in Jordan's history. Record numbers of candidates vied for seats. Sixty percent of the new Parliament are first-time MPs. There has been a consultative process to choose the Prime Minister and the first pilot parliamentary government is underway.”