At the State Banquet Hosted by His Excellency the President of Turkey Suleyman Demirel
7 March 2000
Your Excellency President Demirel,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Rania and I are very delighted to be with you this evening, in this beautiful city where modernity and ancient tradition have merged to symbolise the uniqueness and strength of your country. We are very grateful to have the opportunity to visit you and to be able to contribute to the strengthening of the brotherly relations that exist between Jordan and Turkey. In fact, at no other time has there been more of a requirement to consolidate the strength and depth of our relations. The rapid developments in the regional and global political economic arena necessitate that countries in the same region and with similar visions co-ordinate their effort in order to face the prospects of the future. Additionally, the challenges of maintaining and solidifying a regional peace that is built on justice, stability and security require co-operation in various fields that span a wide spectrum covering economics, water resources, security systems, and environmental concerns. In the case of our two countries, a common tradition, culture and history provides a unique foundation for this joint approach. His late Majesty King Hussein laid the groundwork for the special relations that Jordan enjoys with Turkey, and I am equally determined to pursue his steps and translate the goodwill that exists between us into an effective model of regional co-operation. Your Excellency's visit to Jordan last summer provided an opportunity to define the issues related to such a framework, and we are eager to elaborate on the areas of interest and agree on practical steps and concrete actions.
On behalf of my delegation, I would like to express our gratitude for the discussions that were held this afternoon, and our deep satisfaction with their outcome. I am especially delighted that Your Excellency shares our belief in the important and pivotal role of the private sector in both our countries in realising the ambitious goals that we have set for our joint economic co-operation.
On the political level, Jordan shares Turkey's support for a just, lasting and comprehensive peace that addresses all issues emanating from the Arab-Israeli conflict. We know that protracted conflicts and an absence of peace result in alienation, extremism and the loss of hope. Delaying justice is tantamount to denying it, and we can no longer afford delays. Our region has suffered for too long from missed opportunities, and we do not want to lose another one. Peace for us is the noblest of aims, and an object of our constant and determined quest. Only peace can bring stability, security and prosperity to our part of the world. It can pave the way for regional co-operation, open borders and joint co-ordination for the benefit of all the peoples and states in the region. I am confident that our efforts, with the support of the international community, will succeed, and that the peoples of the Middle East will finally enjoy its benefits.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
We in Jordan are setting an example and a model for others to emulate. It is one that is built on domestic political pluralism and democracy, secured by a free enterprise economic system, and reliant on a viable peaceful region for the fulfilment of the dreams of our children. We view our relations with Turkey and our friendship with your noble people in this context. It is a framework of complementarity that stresses co-operation and explores the possibilities of optimising valuable resources. Equally important is its emphasis on shared values of democracy, pluralism and the respect of law as pillars in civil society. Mostly, it is a guiding light for the future, its challenges and prospects.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
In closing, let me turn to our brothers and sisters in Turkey and express our gratitude for the friendship and the support, and or sincere wishes for continued advancement, prosperity and progress. To you, Excellency, and to Mrs Demirel, I also express our sincere thanks for your warm hospitality and sincere feelings. I bring you the warm friendship and admiration of the Jordanian people, and we all look forward to welcoming you again in our country.