At the Dinner Hosted by the President of the French Senate Christian Poncelet
16 November 1999
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is a great honour for Rania, myself and our accompanying delegation to be with you tonight in this marvelous place, Le Senat of the French Republic. This august gathering, Monsieur le President and Madame Poncelet, marks the last part of a series of memorable events in which we participated during this excellent and successful state visit to the great Republic of France. I assure you, Ladies and Gentlemen, that the friendship and strong ties that bind our two countries have been strengthened to even higher levels during this visit.
The meetings that we had with President Chirac and with Prime Minister Jospin underscored the common objectives that we aspire to achieve in our part of the world, which, simply put, call for justice to be done for all: for the refugees who lost their land and in some cases their future, for the Palestinians who have dreamt of independence for so long, for the Lebanese who continue to witness occupation of their southern land, for the Syrians who aspire to return the Golan to the motherland, and for the Israeli people who wish to secure the lives of their children.
We see eye to eye on these objectives, and we also agree on how to achieve these goals: through peaceful negotiations among partners. Partners who respect the rights of each other and who honour commitments when they are made, and who implement agreements when they are signed. We in Jordan have always called for this justice to reign across the lands of the Middle East, so that our nations can turn to the tasks of building peace and to ensuring stability and prosperity for our peoples. France has been an avid supporter of our quest, and a great partner, that never abandoned the initiative when it was faced with the difficult task of convincing adversaries of the sublime necessity to compromise and to accept each other. For this, Monsieur le President, we are grateful.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
To conclude, let me once again express our sincere appreciation to you and to the French people for your friendship, and for yet again proving to us that Jordan indeed has a special place in your hearts. We thank you for your warm hospitality and for sharing with us your insights and great advice.