At Official Dinner for President of Finland
10 October 2010
In the name of God, the Most Merciful, the Compassionate,
Ahlan wa sahlan. Welcome to Jordan. It is a great pleasure to welcome your entire delegation.
Madame President, your first visit to Jordan is very special to us. Rania and I warmly remember your hospitality in Finland four years ago. We hope that this visit, and the fruitful discussions we had today, will add to our memories, our friendships and our countries' growing partnership.
The future can only witness more mutually beneficial cooperation. Our governments and private sectors are working together, both bilaterally and in the Euro-Med partnership. And I am happy to say that Jordan is in the final stages of reaching an Advanced Status agreement with the EU. This will create new opportunities for Finns and Jordanians to work together, in trade, tourism, investment, knowledge-building and much more. In this context, we deeply appreciate the great work FIDA has done to support local development. This kind of work is a vital part of our country's holistic approach, to build opportunity and give people the tools to advance.
Let me pay tribute to Finland's commitment to human rights and global understanding. These are deep values for the Jordanian people as well. Our country has a long heritage of moderation and respect for others. And we are doing everything we can to end global prejudices and divisions that are hurting our common humanity.
Last month, Jordan proudly introduced a UN resolution to establish World Interfaith Harmony Week. We hope that each year, during this week, the world's people, in their own places of worship, would express the teachings of their own faith about tolerance, respect for the other, and peace. We count on Finland's support for this annual event that aims to help bring our peoples ever close together in friendship and respect.
We also deeply appreciate Finland's pledge to give its support to peacemaking efforts in the Middle East. The continuation of conflict in our region is a threat to global peace and security. All of us must work to end it, starting by ensuring a negotiated settlement to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict on the basis of the two-state solution. The whole world agrees that the establishment of a viable, independent Palestinian state, living side by side a secure Israel, is the only path to a future of peace. The whole world must throw its weight behind efforts to reach this solution that will open the door for a comprehensive regional peace; for Israel to have normal relations with 57 Arab and Muslim states. The alternative is much more destruction and division. We can't afford to waste any time, any lives.
Finland has earned widespread trust for balanced, credible diplomacy, and an ethic of global responsibility. I look forward to working closely with you on forging a stronger partnership; a partnership that will yield more benefits to our peoples, and will help realise the rights of all peoples of the region, to a future of peace, promise and opportunity.