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Royal Hashemite Court (Jordan)

Rule of the law, justice will prevail - King
Amman, 16 June 2013

His Majesty King Abdullah on Sunday addressed issues of pressing national concern including the democratic reform process, recent outbreaks of violence across the country and the Syrian crisis.

Speaking at the graduation ceremony of the 26th class of Mutah University’s Military Wing, which was also attended by His Royal Highness Crown Prince Hussein bin Abdullah II, King Abdullah responded to doubts that some citizens have over the Kingdom’s political reform process.

Calling on the movement towards democracy to be undertaken without “fear or hesitation”, the King said the path that Jordan must take in order to achieve an advanced level of parliamentary government is clear.

To ensure that Jordan realises all needed reforms, the country must acquire “political maturity”, His Majesty said. Institutionalising the modus operandi of parliament and the work of parliamentary blocs is a short-term priority. Both the election and political parties laws, His Majesty continued, need to be improved through successive parliamentary cycles to become increasingly representative and conducive to a full-fledged parliamentary government system, where the party that gains parliamentary majority forms the government and the minority opposition in parliament serves as “shadow government,” proposing alternative policies.

The King said recently witnessed cases of violence across Jordanian society and at some universities were utterly unacceptable, inexcusable and alien to Jordan’s values, customs and culture.

“We cannot keep silent on this issue… This does not belong in Jordanian society, nor the Jordanian state. We cannot accept that our youths’ future be hostage to the phenomenon of violence because their future is Jordan’s future,” said His Majesty.

The King dismissed claims that tribal culture and structure are to blame. “Our culture and authentic tribal structure do not accept violence. We are all sons and daughters of tribes from various backgrounds and origins, whether the badia, villages, cities or refugee camps… This is the most important source of our strength, national unity and our society’s security and stability,” he said.

“There was never a day when tribe and family were reason for chaos, violence or breaking the law, as some who have no knowledge of the true definition of tribe and nature of tribal society claim,” the King added.

His Majesty added that the tribe has always been and will remain a symbol of valour, authentic values, allegiance and the safeguard of security, stability and the rule of law.

The King pinned such violent behaviour on perceptions of a “lack of justice and equal opportunities”, which he said leads to frustration, a sense of injustice and violence.

“On the other hand, laxity in enforcing the law and public order on all, or lack of fairness and equality in applying the law leads to loss of confidence in state institutions and to resorting to violence until a citizen takes the law in his own hands or encroaches on the rights of others,” he added.

Developmental gains must be distributed throughout the governorates in order to combat this phenomenon, the King said, noting that this approach would also tackle issues of poverty and unemployment, consolidate good governance and develop economic and social policies in partnership with the grass-roots.

“The solution also lies in applying the law on all without complacency, hesitation or favouritism,” added His Majesty.

The King instructed state institutions to apply the law so as to secure public order and ensure that the rights and property of Jordanian citizens are protected.

“No party has the right to think that it is above the law,” the King noted.

Regarding the Syrian crisis and the continuous and huge influx of Syrian refugees, which has placed an enormous burden on the Kingdom’s services and infrastructure, His Majesty noted that Jordan is capable of defending itself.

“Should the world not act and help us adequately address this issue, and should this issue become a threat to our country, then we are capable at any time to take the necessary measures to protect our country and people’s interests,” the King said.

He reiterated that Jordan is dedicated to assisting Syrian refugees, but that the most pressing issue regarding the Syrian crisis was ensuring that the interests of both Jordan and its people were being protected.

The King said the government was working to ensure sufficient international financial assistance to help Jordan cover the cost of hosting the Syrian refugees.
To help resolve the Syrian crisis, His Majesty said the Kingdom will continue to exert utmost efforts to cooperate with its Arab neighbours and the international community including the US, Russia and the EU to find a political solution that preserves the unity and stability of Syria.

The envisioned solution, he said, is one that guarantees that Syrian state institutions look after their citizens, so that the refugees, not only in Jordan but in all neighbouring countries, will be encouraged to return to their country.

On the Palestinian issue, “the core issue in the region,” the King said it remains at the top of Jordan’s priorities.

Regarding talk of the creation of a confederation, His Majesty called these calls “out of context and premature”.

“This issue will not even be on the table until a fully independent Palestinian state is established, and even then only based on the will of both countries and peoples. Any talk on this issue before that is not in the interest of either the Palestinians or Jordanians,” said the King.

“Under no circumstances will Jordan accept a solution to the Palestinian cause at its own expense... We need to put an end to those rumours, and God willing, this is the last time we talk about this topic,” said the King.

Concluding his speech, His Majesty called on Jordanian citizens to cooperate with one another in order to help shoulder the burdens that have been put on Jordan.

“Our history is witness to the fact that we can accomplish a lot with very little means,” he noted, calling on state institutions to work in cooperation with the private and public sector so as to protect the interests of all Jordanian citizens.

“Through cooperation, hard work and sense of responsibility we can win over all challenges, as we have won in the past over even greater challenges, and Jordan and Jordanians will remain at the forefront,” the King said.