Official website of His Majesty King Abdullah II ibn Al Hussein
Speech of His Majesty King Abdullah II
During Ramadan Iftar with the Jordan Armed Forces
Zarqa, Jordan
3 September 2008

In the Name of God, the Most Merciful, the Compassionate,

Chivalrous Brothers, Comrades in Arms,

May God grant you good health,

I came today to be with you and among you at the beginning of this holy month. I came to extend you my best wishes on the advent of this month of worship, virtue, sacrifice and common good. And from amongst you, in this place, I express my congratulations and felicitations to all the daughters and sons of the one Jordanian family, and to our Arab and Islamic nation: many happy returns of the month to all of you, to our people and to all Muslims. And may this month be - God willing - a month of grace and common good to all Muslims, everywhere in this world.

Chivalrous Brothers,

In this blessed month we always recall the sacrifices and historic acts of heroism of our Arab and Islamic nation, and the many battles of honour and victories realised by our Arab and Muslim ancestors over the ages. We remember these achievements and great victories so as to derive from them resolve, will and confidence in our capability to face challenges and difficulties, and to make the future in which Jordan will stand as an example and model of security, stability, strength and prosperity, while providing a decent living to every citizen, male and female, in this country.

I know the great economic challenges that face this country and that are having an impact on the standard of living of our Jordanian family and dear people. I believe that these challenges, whether internal or external, should motivate us to work harder to mobilise our capabilities and capacities to face these international economic developments, through will and wisdom, and confidence and steadfastness. I am sure that with the will and resolve of our noble citizens, men and women, the sons and daughters of this homeland, we will overcome all these challenges, and be in a better economic situation. This promise, with God's help, will become a tangible reality.

Chivalrous Brothers,

The Arab Army has a special status in my conscience, and that of every Jordanian. We all know the size of the great responsibilities shouldered by this army, and the size of its sacrifices over the past decades. Hence, we are thoroughly committed to giving our armed forces and security institutions every possible support and care. We are keen to provide comprehensive social security to them and to improve the living conditions of every soldier, noncommissioned officer and officer in the armed forces and the security institutions so that they will remain, as ever, an example in pioneering institutional and national action, and a model of discipline, efficiency and patriotism.

From the first day I assumed leadership responsibility, I was, and I remain, of the conviction that it is the right of the armed forces and security institutions to enjoy a fair share of the benefits of development and the returns of economic reform. Security and safety were among the most important factors that enabled us to achieve positive economic progress. Hence, I earlier directed the government to allocate 3% of the shares of public institutions that were privatised for the benefit of active and retired personnel of the armed forces and the security institutions, in appreciation of their role, sacrifices and acts of heroism.

Today, in this month of common good, social solidarity and giving, and in the context of my belief in the need to face economic challenges, I have directed the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to spend a part of the returns of these shares, and allocate 200 Jordanian dinars for each soldier and officer in the armed forces and security institutions, as well as for each military retiree, before the advent of Eid Al Fitr, God willing.

Again, Chivalrous Brothers, I congratulate you in this blessed month, and will continue always to work to my utmost ability to support you socially, economically and professionally. You deserve all of our support and appreciation, because you are the guardians of the homeland, and the symbol of its sovereignty and dignity.

May God bless you,

Many happy returns of the month for the Jordanian family and the homeland. Peace, God's mercy and blessings be upon you.