At Madrid City Hall
21 October 1999
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Thank you very much for this great honour bestowed upon me. On this first official state visit that Rania and I pay to a European country, we have already lived some invaluable moments that we shall cherish for the rest of our lives. This is certainly one of these events, here in a city that we hold very close to our hearts.
Apart from the fact that Madrid has been the meeting point of Mediterranean and North African cultures, and a city where rich historical traditions merged into a universality of values, your capital city, Excellency, has assumed a new role as far as all the peoples of the Middle East are concerned. Since 1991, when your country hosted the Middle East Peace Conference a short distance from here, Madrid has become synonymous with faith, peace, and partnership, three noble attributes that have characterised our approach to the new era in the Middle East. It was only natural for Madrid to play host to such a gathering, which paved the ground for Spain and Spaniards to exert so much influence for a better future for Arabs and Israelis alike.
Your very kind words, Excellency, and the Golden Key to your beautiful city, are treasures that shall be remembered with happiness, friendship and true partnership. They add to the long list that makes up the commonality of interests between our two countries and two people. More than anything else, it is the values of harmony, democracy and the respect of human dignity that bind us together. These are virtues that have withstood the test of time, and will forever create a true friendship that will bind Spain and Jordan in a truly admirable fashion.