At the State Banquet On the Occasion of the Visit of the President of the Republic of Singapore Sellepan Rama Nathan
18 November 2006
Your Excellency President Nathan,
It is a great pleasure for Rania and I to welcome you this special evening among friends and partners. President Nathan, Mrs Nathan, we are especially honoured to have both of you in Jordan.
I have had the privilege of visiting your country on many occasions. And, your presence here tonight is a reaffirmation of the unique and enduring ties between our countries.
I speak on behalf of all Jordanians in expressing our tremendous admiration and respect for your people and their extraordinary achievements. Over the past four decades, your country has become an example to all of us in achievement and success. Singapore's diversity has become its source of richness. Its values have defined its history, and today its inspiration extends to countries all around the globe. You have raised the living standard for your people to one of the highest in the world. Today's Singapore is a regional and economic powerhouse. It is one of the key architects of the global free trade network.
You have done this in spite of critical development challenges: limited physical resources and a small domestic market - challenges Jordan also shares. Your achievements testify to the great things that sheer determination and investment in the talent of people can achieve.
We in Jordan share your conviction that investment in people is a pillar of prosperity and a better standard of living for all. Vast opportunity for further cooperation between our two countries exists in the fields of science, technology and culture. Allow me to say that I have myself always learnt a lot from my visits to your country. In dealing with investment promotion, developing the Special Economic Zones, and thinking outside of the box about logistics, Singapore has been a model.
We also share important international objectives. Our countries have made important contributions to global security and stability through participation in UN peacekeeping missions around the world, through the training of Iraqi police and through constructive calls for greater international cooperation to confront extremism and terrorism. We cooperate in better explaining Islam as a tolerant, peaceful way of life. The Amman Message serves as a platform for better understanding and acceptance.Like Jordan, Singapore has also been a strident voice for a comprehensive and just Middle East peace based on international legality and justice.
And, by working within the framework of Singapore's pioneering Asia-Middle East Dialogue, we can bring our regions and our peoples closer. Jordan is pleased to co-chair with Singapore the working groups on social, education, scientific, cultural, environmental, and media affairs. And we are thankful for Singapore's support in establishing a regional vocational training centre, which will highlight your country's example of excellence in the training of Jordanians.
Once again, I welcome you to our country. I look forward to hearing about your fruitful discussions with your Jordanian counterparts in the public and private sectors whom you will meet during this visit.
I hope that in the days ahead, as you travel throughout our country, you will learn about all that Jordan has to offer, and experience the many dimensions of our wonderful culture.