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Royal Hashemite Court (Jordan)

King Affirms His Support For Establishing a Free Trade Zone Between the M.E. and USA
Amman, 23 June 2003

His Majesty King Abdullah II affirmed his support for the initiative of establishing a free trade zone between the Middle East and USA, pointing that it will provide investment opportunities for the region and facilitate trade among Arab countries.

During his meeting, on the sideline of the world economic forum in the Dead Sea, with US Foreign Minister Colin Powell, the US's Trade representative and a number of Arab Ministers and Officials, His Majesty explained the benefits which Jordan gained as a result of signing the free trade agreement with the USA. His Majesty Affirmed Jordan's readiness to impalement the initiative that US's President George Bush announced last month.

The King also stressed the importance of speeding up the economic liberation and reform processes, removing trade barriers, and adopting policies which encourage transparency and accountability with a view to achieve desired benefits from the Middle East-USA free trade initiative.

On his part, Colin Powel expressed his country's support and commitment to implement the initiative.

On his part, the US trade representative showed the advantages of the initiative and its benefits represented in providing economic and investment opportunities for the region.

He affirmed that his country will provide support to Arab states endeavoring to join the World Trade Organization and will help the current members to get the benefits from joining the initiative.

He also pointed to the importance of the initiative which will be a full free trade agreement to achieve the integration of the Middle East economics with the World's.

The Arab Ministers and Officials, who participated in the meeting, affirmed the importance of the initiative and the necessity of accelerating its implementation.