The King: Parliamentary Elections to be Held 2002

18 January 2002

His Majesty King Abdullah II pledged commitment to hold general parliamentary elections this year , saying " Jordan's parliamentary life is a special characteristic distinguishing Jordanian political march". The King's remarks came during a meeting with head of Permanent Committee of Chinese Peoples' Deputies' Council "Parliament" Li Peng , and said " I instructed the government to take the necessary preparations to hold the parliamentary elections this year to further boost the country's political life in parallel with governmental ambitious social-economic reform programme". The King, during the meeting attended by Chief of the Royal Court Fayez Tarawneh and accompanying high-level delegation , hailed Jordan-China relations as" excellent and strong," voicing the Kingdom's keenness to further bolster them in all fields , particularly the parliamentary. Peng for his part commended the Monarch's significant role played to achieve just , comprehensive and durable peace in the region. "China's Parliament backs government proneness to cement joint economic and political cooperation," he noted, reiterating his country's stance on regional and international, issues , particularly the question of Palestine. He affirmed his country's unwavering willingness to work with world powers to strike a just settlement for the Middle East crisis. In a separate meeting , the King held talks with China's Vice-President Hu Jintao and expressed worries over the deteriorating security situation in the occupied Palestine , which prompts exerting further efforts by international community to help find a peaceful solution to the current spiral of fatal violence and to resume stalled Middle East peace process. " China's position enables it to contribute to salvage the exacerbating circumstances and to urge Palestinians and Israelis to go back to the negotiating table," the King pointed out. " The continuity of violence acts that took grave curve the last few months necessitates that the international community shoulders its responsibilities. Neither there is a hope for the region's peoples nor for the future of the region's security , stability and development unless there is a solution for the Middle East crisis and for the 11-years old embargo on Iraq via Iraq-UN dialogue ," the Monarch affirmed. Jintao for his part renewed China's unwavering backing to continuous and relentless efforts aiming to achieve just peace in the region. "Amman and Beijing view eye-to-eye the inevitability to solve regional problems, a stance congruent with the two countries' supreme interests and serves peace and international development," Jintao added. " My visit to Jordan last year was a precious opportunity to get acquainted with the Kingdom's great achievements ," Jintao said, noting to the King's tireless efforts to reinvigorate national economy and to better the living standards of Jordanians". Later , the Monarch headed to the eastern city of Shanghai and met its mayor who updated the Royal guest on his city's economic activities. There , the King also met representatives of Chinese firms and businessmen and briefed them on investment privileges offered by the Jordanian legislative system to foreign investors. " Jordan's economy has made great strides the last few years through adopting legislative amendments and procedural and technical facilities for international investments ,"the King said , elaborating on investment opportunities available in the Kingdom, particularly after the ratification of Jordan-US Free Trade Agreement and Jordan-Euro Association Agreement, which opened huge markets in front of Jordanian products. The King noted to the success of Chinese investments in Jordan's Qualifying Industrial Zones QIZ and called on Chinese firms to expand investments countrywide and to benefit from future strategic projects in the fields of energy , water, and infrastructure. Minister of Planning Basem Basem Awed Allah told "Petra" correspondent at the end of the King's extensive talks with Chinese businessmen focused on how to work out the appropriate mechanisms to further bolster Jordan-China economic cooperation , saying " the King pays due attention and exerts tireless efforts to lure foreign investments , mainly in the vital sectors like information technology IT, fertilizers and chemicals". Aqaba Special Economic Zone ASEZ Commissioner Aqel Beltaji highlighted investment privileges offered by ASEZ to foreign investors.