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SPEECH/12/268

José Manuel Durão Barroso

President of the European Commission

Statement by President Barroso following his meeting with King Abdullah II of Jordan

Press point

Brussels, 17 April 2012

Good afternoon Ladies and Gentlemen,

It was a pleasure and an honour to welcome His Majesty King Abdullah II of Jordan to European Commission once again.

Jordan is a longstanding partner and also an active member of our Neighbourhood Policy.

EU-Jordan relations are very good and our ties are getting even closer. We have now an “advanced status” partnership, we are marking the 10th anniversary of the EU-Jordan Association Agreement this year, and the preparatory process for the launch of Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA) negotiations has already started.

Furthermore, the EU-Jordan Task-Force met for the first time last February sending a strong signal of our commitment to Jordan during this period of important political and economic reforms.

Today’s meeting was fruitful and constructive. I want to thank His Majesty for the very open way in which he shared with us his vision for the region and, of course, for his country and for the future of Jordan - European Union relations. It is always a privilege to have this kind of exchanges with His Majesty. I also had the opportunity to convey to His Majesty King Abdullah II a strong message of support but also of encouragement to pursue with the political reform process aiming at strengthening democracy, justice and the rule of law in Jordan. I know how committed his Majesty is. It is very important now that Jordan gives concrete results in this process of reforms. We also discussed in detail Jordan’s commitment to conducting free, fair and transparent elections.

So my message is clear: we fully support Jordan’s reform agenda in the political, economic and social areas. To this end the EU has been giving important financial contributions and recently we have adopted an additional contribution from our SPRING programme - SPRING comes from "Support for Partnership, Reform and Inclusive Growth". I look forward to the positive results that our partnership may bring in this regard.

During our meeting we also had the opportunity to address other topics of common interest and concern such as the Middle East Peace Process and Syria. I commended His Majesty the King and Jordan’s efforts in moving forward with the Middle East Peace Process. We fully support Jordan’s engagement and we encourage its role in facilitating contacts between the parties to find a negotiated solution.

On Syria, I welcomed the deployment of an advance team of up to 30 unarmed military observers to begin reporting on the implementation of a full cessation of armed violence in Syria.

The priority for the EU, and I believe also for the international community, should be a complete stop to violence and full and unhindered access to humanitarian aid. In this respect, we sincerely appreciate and praise Jordan’s cooperation in hosting Syrian refugees.

Before finishing, I would like to convey to His Majesty our firm commitment to continue working together for the benefit of Jordan and Jordanians and to make our partnership stronger. Once again, Your Majesty, thank you for coming, thank you for your friendship and thank you for all your commitment to political, economic and social reforms in your country.


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