Address to the Nation Commemorating King Hussein
7 February 2000
(Translated from Arabic)
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is indeed a privilege for me and for my accompanying delegation to be accorded such an honour with this beautiful reception at the Grand National Assembly. This assembly testifies to the noble principles that uphold freedom, democracy, and the rule of law, and is a true reflection of Turkey and the Turkish nation.
Both the nation and its people have a special place in the hearts of Jordanians. Our common religion, history and culture provide a solid foundation for the bonds of co-operation that characterise our relations. Perhaps more importantly, it is our shared vision, and may I also say, destiny, in this region that has propelled us to adopt a common approach towards the challenges of the present and the prospects of the future. Nowhere is this commonality more apparent than in the noble goals that this assembly represents, namely to preserve freedom and to guarantee equality for all. These are the same principles that our system of governance upholds, and the same foundations upon which our democratic structure rests. We see eye to eye on the need to achieve a just, lasting and comprehensive peace in the Middle East that would restore usurped rights and safeguard stability and security for all parties in the region. We are both committed to peaceful resolution of conflicts among states and among neighbours, and to finding common ground in seeking to forge a new understanding of comprehensive regional security that would address itself to the creation of a viable mechanism to achieve this goal. We agree on the need to turn the region's attention towards the improvement of the standard of living of its people through social and economic development schemes that would provide for sustainable growth. We are equally supportive of regional plans for the efficient use of shared resources, most notably water, energy and the environment. In effect, we are in agreement over the need for the introduction of a new code of conduct to govern intra-regional relations. It will insist on respect to be accorded to the human, political and civil rights of all citizens of the region, and would provide for effective frameworks of productive inter-state co-operation. Most of all, it would usher in a new era of peace and the pursuit of excellence.
Turkey's role in shaping the new paradigm is a very important one. Not only is your country a bridge between two civilisations, cultures and continents, but it also provides a model of positive economic interaction on a regional level. In fact, Turkey's relations with its neighbours can be positively utilised to establish a nucleus for our desired new framework. The successful examples of Turkey's economic and social programs provide a platform for its launching. Your remarkable and courageous ability to face the catastrophic and sad results of the recent earthquake has won you the respect of all those who shared your sorrow and admired your fortitude, and has become an example of strength of will. Your free-enterprise economic culture and the expertise available in your human talent are additional assets that can best be invested in the development of a large regional economy. This is why Turkey stands to play a critical and significant role in the shaping of the political and economic future of this region.
During the reign of His Majesty the late King Hussein, the relations between our two countries developed to become a model of mutual respect and co-ordination among states. I assure you, ladies and gentlemen, that I also hold the same high respect, great admiration and deep emotions that my father held for Turkey and its brotherly people. I am also moved by the respect that you hold for the legacy of King Hussein, that of the triumph of reason, peace, and harmony over conflict, strife and rivalry. It is a legacy that has become synonymous with Jordan and its role within the community of states, and a torch that guides our path through the venues of international order. It is a mission that calls upon us to continue to shoulder our responsibilities towards our Palestinian brethren by offering them support, just as we did when we provided them refuge, opportunity and equality. It also dictates that we continue to honour our responsibilities towards the holy sites in Jerusalem until such a time when justice is done for Jerusalem, Palestine and the Palestinians.
Today, as we witness movement on the tracks of the peace process, we are proud that our role and our model have served to bring the conflicting sides to accept each other as partners in a journey that will lead our region to stability, security, and prosperity.
Turkey shares with us the dream of creating a stable Middle East. The Turkish role is essential in the building of peace in this region because Turkey is an integral part of it. We share with you the vision of a better future for all in the region, Lebanese, Israeli, Jordanian, Palestinian and Syrian. All of our people deserve a better life, with a guarantee of rights and security for them and their children. The rapid developments in our world necessitate that action on the peace fronts be taken before it is too late. The course of peace is an irreversible one. Yet, the last few years have clearly shown that an impasse in the process might be worse than a full-fledged reversal. The cradle of civilisation must be given a proper chance for reconciliation and harmony. It is a peace that will be built on those human elements necessary to establish interaction among the ordinary men and women of the Middle East. It requires, however, a political and economic investment in its structures, if it is to be a sustainable model of political and economic co-operation and integration. Mostly, it calls upon true leaders and men of vision to guarantee that the next era will be void of hostility and war and will rather concentrate on the pursuit of excellence in economics, culture and technology.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Our future will remain intrinsically linked to that of your great nation, and this is why we must double the efforts to attain a true partnership with you. The historical and cultural links have created a platform for it. Social and economic paradigms however must ensure its strength and continuity. This visit, which marks the strengthening of a very special relationship between our two countries, is witness to the understanding and the good will that we both have to establish this true partnership. In fact, the cultural dimension of our relations are yet another example of our common view of how we see the world and see the future, one that will hold a promise of joy in the serenity of peaceful coexistence and co-operation among all mankind. This is our message and this is our quest. It is one that I am so proud to express in your presence today in such beautiful surroundings where modernity, culture and civilisation merge into a universality of values of peace, harmony and excellence.
I thank you.