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Royal Hashemite Court (Jordan)

King: We Are Determined to Provide Jordanians with Equal Opportunities
Amman, 8 January 2003

His Majesty King Abdullah II affirmed that "we are determined to provide Jordanians whether male or female with equal opportunities in the field of education and health and the various aspects of life.

During a meeting at the Basman Palace on Wednesday with a group of students from Yarmouk University that comes within the series of dialogues that His Majesty started with students, King Abdullah said that the aim of the development process is to improve educational opportunities and consequently the quality of life of all citizens in addition to supporting the talented youth.

During the meeting which was attended by Royal Court chief and the minister of education, His Majesty urged the students to express their view courageously and present their issues and concerns of their society, stressing the importance of activating intellectual and cultural dialogue in addition to scientific research at universities.

"When we presented the concept "Jordan First", the aim was to urge citizens to adopt dialogue and discuss their views on all issues of concern to the homeland," he added, noting that "we are trying to pave the way for dialogue, for we believe that developing Jordan comes through objective and responsible dialogue".

The King questioned whether there was any head of a state who encourages citizens to be involved in dialogue and urge them to think in this direction.

"I would like to listen to the views of citizens due to my keenness to enhance democracy and its march," the King said.

King Abdullah made it clear that democracy needs concerted efforts by all, affirming that discussions that are currently underway on the concept of "Jordan First" is a healthy phenomenon, for there are people who support the document on Jordan First and there are others who object to it. "What is important to me is that no one remain passive in the ideas he present," he added.

His Majesty affirmed that the "Jordan First" concept is not a political motto but rather a developmental concept that aims at developing the Kingdom in all aspects.

"All those who will run for the parliamentary elections which will be held in the spring should focus on national issues and obstacles that face the process of developing their regions. They should also focus on the internal issues and issues of concern to citizens," King Abdullah added.

His Majesty briefed the students on steps that he is adopting to develop the economy and create an investment climate that will help in providing job opportunities for new graduates.

The King exchanged with the students views on various national and Arab issues as well as the role shouldered by Jordan in this regard. The students briefed His Majesty on problems and obstacles that face them in their university studies. They also presented their views on the various national and Arab issues, affirming keenness to actively participate in the causes of the homeland and concerns of its citizens.

In a statement to Jordan News Agency after the meeting, a number of students expressed their appreciation for His Majesty's initiative to meet with university students and provide them with the opportunity to present their views and problems.