At the State Banquet Hosted by His Excellency the President of South Korea Kim Dae-jung
Seoul, South Korea
4 December 1999
Madame Kim Dae-Jung,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is a great pleasure for Queen Rania and myself to be here with you on this very special evening. We have been overwhelmed by the warmth of your reception. My delegation joins me in expressing to Your Excellency our gratitude for your kind invitation to visit your friendly country.
We carry to the Korean people the feelings of friendship and esteem which the people of Jordan have for Your Excellency and for them. We value your country and its proud history, rich values, and achievements.
The friendly ties which bind our two countries are deep and well rooted. We recall with pride the visit of my late father, His Majesty King Hussein, to Korea in 1983. I also recall my visit to Korea as a soldier a few years ago and I shall cherish the memories for years to come.
The level of progress which you have achieved in Korea represents a unique experience in our times. We have been watching your accomplishments with great admiration. The high rates of growth and the high standards of living, coupled with the determination to overcome difficulties and face challenges, are a tribute to your inspired leadership and are an inspiration for all developing countries.
We share many common characteristics: Despite the limited resources in our two countries, we are both determined to achieve social and economic development and to improve the quality of life of our peoples.
We admire the ability of your efficient, disciplined and committed workforce to compensate for the limited resources available to them through hard work and productivity. We strive to emulate your example and are exerting efforts to guarantee that our workforce is as efficient and productive.
Our national priorities are clear: strengthening our domestic front, implementing social and educational programs, and preparing competent generations who are able to face the challenges of the future.
On the basis of our cherished principles, and with the confidence we have in our ability to face the challenges with determination, we are diligently working for the achievement of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East.
We are doing our utmost to ensure the success of the ongoing peace efforts. For it to reach its logical conclusion, it must be based on the return of land and on the restoration of the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people.
We shall continue to exert all possible efforts for the sake of achieving peace, security and stability in our region. Our good relations with all concerned parties permit Jordan to play such a role.
With your permission, I would like to say a few words about our bilateral relations. As proud and happy as we are with the positive and friendly nature of our ties, we still believe there is an opportunity to further enhance the level of our cooperation in various fields, including industrial technologies.
Surely we can jointly benefit from our common experiences. The availability of Qualifying Industrial Zones, with their unique opportunity for exporting manufactured products, customs free and quota free, to US markets, provide a lucrative investment opportunity.
Finally, Mr. President, I would like to reiterate my gratitude and appreciation for your warm welcome and reception. You will make Rania and myself very happy when you and Madame Kim Dae-Jung give us the pleasure of welcoming you in Amman. We hope that we shall have the opportunity to show you the true feelings of friendship, respect and high esteem which the Jordanian people hold for you.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
May I invite you to rise and join me in saluting President and Madame Kim Dae-Jung, as well as the Korean-Jordanian friendship.