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Royal Hashemite Court (Jordan)

King, Queen leave for US, Peru
Amman, 21 September 2012

Their Majesties King Abdullah and Queen Rania left Amman on Friday for working visits to the US and Peru.

King Abdullah is due to deliver Jordan’s address to the United Nations General Assembly and meet world leaders in New York.

In the Peruvian capital of Lima, the King will take part in the third Arab-South American Summit, which will open October 1.

His Majesty is scheduled to deliver Jordan’s address to the summit and meet other heads of delegations.

His Royal Highness Prince Ali was sworn in as regent during the King’s absence in the presence of Cabinet members.

In a statement to the Jordan News Agency, Petra, before his departure, the King reaffirmed that Jordan will forge ahead with the reform process. His Majesty said with the upcoming legislative polls, expected by the end of the year, Jordan will start introducing parliamentary government.

His Majesty urged citizens to protect their right to register for and take part in the voting process, underlining the need to select the candidates and political parties that present comprehensive programmes to serve the country and carry clear and practical, realistic platforms tackling economic, social, health, education and other challenges.

Voting for the next parliament means also shaping the next government and influencing public policies and decision making with regards to issues of concern to the country and its people, the King said.

His Majesty added that the reform roadmap for the upcoming stage has been made clear:  dissolution of Parliament, announcement of elections date, and installation of a new Parliament at the beginning of the year.

The next stage, His Majesty continued, will also see the formal birth of the Constitutional Court and the appointment of its members, which is considered a key requirement for the ongoing reform process.

The King stressed that no party will be allowed to interfere in the progress of the upcoming elections, stressing that this is a “red line” that no one should cross under any pretext.

The King also said the ongoing voter registration process is an important step in the political reform roadmap, paying tribute to the work carried out by the Independent Elections Commission which is “working in accordance with the highest standards of transparency and integrity.”

His Majesty expressed hope that Jordan will soon witness the emergence of strong political parties from across the political spectrum, saying such parties should adopt practical, realistic programmes on various issues of concern to the public.

His Majesty said the next parliament might have several political parties, independents as well as blocs that are expected to form coalitions that would produce parliamentary governments.

The King said the situation in Syria and issues related to the stalled Mideast peace process would be at the heart of his address to the United Nations General Assembly, as well as of his meetings with heads of state and delegations attending the meeting.

Jordan believes in the centrality and justice of the Palestinian cause and supports the rights of the Palestinian people to regain their legitimate rights, mainly their right to establish their independent state on their national soil in accordance with the June 4, 1967 border, with Jerusalem as its capital, the King stressed.

His Majesty said Jordan’s position on the Syrian crisis is clear, based on the need to intensify efforts to reach a solution that would pave the way for a peaceful transfer of power in accordance with international law, and in a manner that would safeguard Syria’s territorial integrity and the unity of its people, and bring an immediate end to violence and bloodshed.

Syrian refugees in Jordan will also be a main issue of discussion, said the King, particularly that their large number is placing additional burdens on the Kingdom, especially in view of its limited resources and capabilities. Jordan currently hosts more than 200,000 Syrians who escaped the conflict in their country.