His Majesty King Abdullah II's Interview with Asharq Al Awsat

Ghassan Charbel
Asharq Al Awsat newspaper
15 May 2023

AMMAN (The Jordan Times)— His Majesty King Abdullah expressed confidence in the success of the upcoming Arab Summit in Jeddah, anticipating the start of a new phase of Arab action based on a solid foundation of economic cooperation that benefits all parties involved.  

During an interview with Ghassan Charbel, the editor-in-chief of Asharq Al Awsat newspaper, His Majesty emphasised the priority of addressing the political challenges facing Arab nations, foremost of which is the Palestinian cause. He stressed the importance of establishing an independent Palestinian state, with East Jerusalem as its capital, along the 1967 borders.

"I am confident that the efforts of Prince Mohammed Bin Salman have laid the groundwork for a successful summit, as everyone is committed to its success. What further strengthens my belief in its success is the conviction we have witnessed in recent months regarding the need to establish pan-Arab relations based on solid economic cooperation, ensuring tangible benefits for our people. This would fortify our cooperation against occasional political divergences," His Majesty said.

The King added: "Our countries face a range of challenges that necessitate close and profound cooperation, driven by mutual benefit. These challenges include stimulating and developing the economy to create employment opportunities for future generations, advancing governance and reforms, combating corruption, addressing refugee and water issues, as well as illicit drugs, enhancing education and healthcare services, and tackling environmental concerns."

His Majesty emphasised that deepening economic cooperation opens avenues of hope for the region's youth and provides a solid foundation for stability and prosperity.

He expressed his confidence that with collaborative efforts and effective planning, it is possible to bring about changes to the standards of living in the region, which have paid a heavy price due to conflicts and tensions.

Regarding Jordanian-Saudi relations, His Majesty affirmed the strategic and historical nature of the two kingdoms’ mutual ties. These relations are built on the principles of cooperation, consultation and pursuing stability through responsible policies on regional and global matters, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

His Majesty highlighted his excellent relations with King Salman Bin Abdulaziz, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, and Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman.

His Majesty expressed pride in witnessing the ongoing reforms and development in Saudi Arabia, led by Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, considering the current Saudi renaissance an inspiring example for other countries in the region.

Embracing economic modernisation, leveraging technology, engaging youth in the modernisation  process, and promoting culture, tourism and the arts have positive impacts not only on the respective nation itself, but also on the surrounding region, the King said.

Commending the friendship and cooperation between Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman and HRH Crown Prince Hussein, His Majesty said: “The aspirations, capabilities and hopes of this generation of Arab youth promise a brighter future for our countries”.

He concluded by expressing his hope for a new opportunity for the region to rally their collective potential to serve the development project and open up avenues for prosperity and stability that serve the interests of the people.