At the Luncheon Hosted by His Excellency the Prime Minister of France Lionel Jospin
16 November 1999
Ladies and Gentlemen,
We are very grateful for your kind hospitality and for the excellent and fruitful discussions that were held during this memorable visit.
The bilateral relations, Your Excellency, are truly special as you just said, and I hope that we can work together to enhance cooperation on all fronts. Our relations with the European Union as a collective unit are also excellent, and we are grateful for the MEDA package of assistance announced by the European Commission. MEDA - from mesures d'accompagnement - is the body of regulations governing the political aspects of the Euro-Med partnership.
We share the same view with respect to the need to take advantage of the present opportunity on the peace tracks, especially the Syrian and the Lebanese ones. At the same time, we encourage both the Palestinians and the Israelis to double their sincere efforts to implement agreements and to concentrate on the very important issues which are at the centre of the final status talks.
We very much appreciate France's support for Jordan's quest to reduce its debt burden. The different mechanisms which are offered by the French government will certainly be helpful in alleviating part of the burden and in improving the rating of the Jordanian economy, particularly by investors. We are very grateful for this and for the great efforts which France exerted on our behalf at the last G-7 Summit in Cologne, and the Paris Club meeting earlier this year.
We also appreciate French investments in the different sectors of our economy, which last year were the single largest foreign component of total investments in the country. We hope that Jordan's accession to the WTO and the ratification of the Association Agreement with the European Union would provide a further incentive for capital investments, technology transfers and export-oriented industries to choose Jordan as their destination.
Again, I reiterate my gratitude and that of the entire delegation for the warm reception and for the fruitful discussions that we have held. Rest assured that this visit has strengthened our resolve to promote our bilateral ties even further, and to build upon the solid foundations of a truly special relationship.