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Royal Hashemite Court (Jordan)

King Abdullah II's audience
Amman, 16 January 2003

His Majesty King Abdullah II on Thursday said that Jordan has exerted tireless efforts with various international powers to prevent war against Iraq. During an audience today with Jordanian writers and journalists, His Majesty said that opportunities of avoiding war, under the light of the situation the region and the world are passing through, has become little.

He pointed out that things following the war , in case of taking place, are still unclear for all. His Majesty expressed concern regarding the war's effect on the Iraqi people and the Palestinian issue , which is still witnessing stalemate and complication.

The King pointed out that he has no information about initiatives to solve the Iraqi issue by peaceful means. He reaffirmed Jordan's support to any effort or initiative that would prevent war. Solving the issue by dialogue and diplomatic means is a target where all Arabs look forward to, he said.

His Majesty said also that Jordan has taken all needed measures to ease the negative consequences of the possible war against Iraq.

Jordanian economy is capable to handle the consequences of war, he affirmed Responding to a question concerning oil supplies to Jordan in case of war, His Majesty said that we have a reserve for enough period, and there are promises from Arab countries to secure oil in case being stopped from Iraq.

His Majesty pointed out that Jordan got promises of financial aid to compensate some of the losses due to the war.

He expressed his confidence in the Jordanian people. There is a clear stand concerning the press reports' scenarios about evacuation of Palestinians from their homeland towards Jordan, he said. This will not happen , he affirmed.

Concerning the Palestinian issue, His Majesty expressed support to all initiatives aiming at ending the Israeli occupation and elimination of the Palestinian people's suffering. He pointed out to Jordan's successful role in introducing the Arab peace initiative within the road map of the quartette committee.

Responding to a question about the coming parliamentary elections, His Majesty said that he will soon order the government to determine a date to hold elections during the first half of this year . He urged mass media to encourage people for turn out.

His Majesty reaffirmed the importance of strengthening political parties activities through reduction of small parties by merging them in three or four strong parties capable of enhancing democracy.

His Majesty said also that "Jordan First" is an invitation to all Jordanians to contribute to their homeland. There is no reservation towards any political tendency that puts Jordan's interest first, His Majesty concluded.