Before the Turkish Grand National Assembly
7 March 2000
Peace and God's mercy and blessings be upon you.
A year has lapsed since I was honoured with shouldering the foremost responsibility for our beloved country, Jordan. As your leader, I wish to convey to you, on this occasion, my deep pride and my appreciation for your contributions and support since the first moment the Almighty honoured me with this responsibility. I attest that you have stood by me and supported me as you all did with my father Al Hussein, the builder, may the Almighty bless his soul. For you are the family and tribe, the true, loyal men of the one Jordanian nation, of all origins, who pledged to love Jordan, to belong to it, and to be faithful to its message, like your fathers and grandfathers who accompanied Al Hussein Bin Ali and my grandfather and founder of Jordan, Abdullah Bin Al Hussein, who struggled for the noble aims and goals of the Great Arab Revolt, upon which Jordan is built, as it carries its eternal message and its inheritance from great civilisations.
This day a year ago, Al Hussein the father and leader passed away, Hussein who built Jordan, the nation, the state, the stance and message, and the humane and creative Jordan, capable of facing all challenges and difficulties and achieving the greatest goals.
We stand in honour and respect of this great man whose life and stances will remain a beacon that illuminates our path, and constitute a reference of strong will, determination, wisdom, insight, sacrifice, and altruism. We stand in good faith to express our allegiance to his legacy, to our determination to continue his course and safeguard his achievements and to build upon what he built and what he gave to his people and nation.
My dear brothers and sisters,
My closeness to Hussein, God rest his soul, as well as my work in our armed forces alongside my brothers, soldiers and officers, has given me the chance to know the conditions of our one united Jordanian family, and has provided me with direct insight into our citizens' concerns, aspirations and hopes.
I have striven throughout last year with all possible means to find out more about the people's standard of living and their daily sufferings, and I found that such sufferings are mainly due to our economic situation. Based upon this, we have placed economic development as our main national priority and have had to conduct a comprehensive review of all other aspects of our course in the aim of reviving the Jordanian economy and providing for the welfare of the Jordanian family.
We have also had to contact our Arab brethren and our friends all over the world to explain our conditions to them and present our plans and programmes aimed at reviving our national economy and empowering us to face the effects of foreign debt, unemployment and other challenges. Within this framework, I visited many states and countries. I realise, my dear brothers, that great ambitions are not achieved overnight, but at the same time I am confident of the creativity and contributions of Jordanian citizens, and that with faith and will, and through cooperation and unity, we will be able to achieve our ambitions and overcome all challenges and difficulties.
Jordan has been and will always remain, by the will of the Almighty, an Arab nation in stance, conscience and message. We belong to this nation, and in all conditions and circumstances we will continue our support for our Palestinian brethren in their struggle to regain their rights and to establish their independent state on their national soil with Jerusalem as its capital. We will continue our support to our brethren in Syria and Lebanon to regain their rights and occupied territories and to establish a comprehensive peace based upon justice and equality. We will remain, as always, the one united Jordanian family brought up in Hussein's school of tolerance, compassion and solidarity. Regardless of origins, beliefs or races, our national unity will remain the source of our pride and we will safeguard and protect it. It is well established and strong enough not to be affected by any biased person. Upon this, no one has the right to speak on behalf of any group within this family, or to claim to represent any group from this nation, this large family, as this can only be done through its constitutional authorities.
My brothers and sisters,
My pride in you is only equalled by my pride in descending from the Hashemite House. I am but one of you and have no aim but to serve you and fulfil your noble aspirations, and continue to build a modern Jordan, a state of institutions and the rule of law, a society of equality and justice, an oasis of security, stability, democracy and respect for human rights. Let us continue our work with the turn of a new century. I have all confidence in our capabilities to enforce positive and needed change and to shun the fear of such change. Let us, the experts and promising youth, work as a team whose belief is in God in order to overcome all challenges, to build a model homeland and a prosperous future. I salute you once again and ask the Almighty to bless and guide us all towards the welfare of our people and nation.
"Say: O my Lord! Let my entry be by the gate of truth and honour, and likewise my exit by the gate of truth and honour; and grant me from Thy Presence an authority to aid (me)." (Surat Al Isra', Ayah 80)
Peace and God's mercy and blessings be upon you.