At the Presidential Dinner Hosted by Her Excellency President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner
Buenos Aires, Argentina
22 October 2008
On behalf of Rania and myself, and the entire Jordanian delegation, allow me to express our sincere gratitude for this splendid evening. The wonderful people of Argentina have made us feel truly welcome. Rania and I will cherish this visit as the first of what I hope will be many more.
As some of you may know, this has been our first opportunity to come to South America. It has been an extraordinary experience. And it seems very fitting that it has been building up to our visit with you.
My friends, you have it all. Your astounding land: from the highest mountain in the Americas to the magnificent pampas to the ice fields of Patagonia.
We have been impressed by your people: the voices of Argentine freedom and human dignity, the innovators and leaders of your powerful economy, the creators of this world-class city of Buenos Aires and so much more. A great land; an historic culture and society.
And it is a special pleasure for me to know that Argentina’s Arab citizens, especially those from Jordan, have contributed so much to your country’s success.
Madame President, at this year’s opening of the United Nation’s General Assembly, you reminded the world that multilateralism must be more than speech, it must be concrete action. Argentina has taken that action for regional integration, expanding trade relationships and a world of cooperation and mutual respect.
My friends, these commitments are Jordan’s commitments also. My country has been a consistent advocate for Middle East peace, moderation, and reform, including economic integration. Beyond the Middle East, we have worked to create a worldwide network of economic partners and friends of peace.
Jordan’s national strategy, like yours, reflects a simple reality: that is the huge potential for the countries of the South to create opportunities, meet challenges, maximise our strengths, by working together. That is why we view cooperation with MERCOSUR as vital. And we thank Argentina for supporting our participation in this agreement.
Global peace and security is another area of shared concern. In our globalised world, the impact of division and instability is widespread.
In the Middle East, there is an urgent need for a just settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict. It is the core conflict of the region, shaping events far beyond itself. What is needed is a settlement that can last; one with security and acceptance for Israel and justice for Palestinians in a sovereign, independent and viable state. We in the region are grateful for Argentina’s support.
I hope our teams of officials can move swiftly to strengthen cooperation, and develop the framework for the concrete action that you and I value. It is my personal hope that we will soon see one important step to enhance our long-standing diplomatic ties. And that is the exchange of diplomatic representation between our countries.
May this visit, and all we accomplish, mark one step on a beautiful path forward.
Thank you very much.