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Royal Hashemite Court (Jordan)

King and Queen Start a State Visit to Germany
Amman, 21 October 2002

Their Majesties King Abdullah II and Queen Rania started a three-day state visit to Germany on Monday upon an invitation from German President Johannes Rau. During the visit King Abdullah II and the accompanying delegation will hold talks with German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and other senior officials on ways of promoting bilateral ties in political, economic and cultural spheres. The talks will also cover the current situation in the Middle East including the Palestinian and Iraqi issues.

King Abdullah II will also meet members of the German parliament, Mayor of Berlin and members of the German Foreign Relations Council. The king, who received a red carpet welcome with 21 gun shots upon his arrival, will visit the city of Munich where he meets Head of Bavaria state and a number of representatives of leading industrial firms and investors of industrial and scientific sites and will meet with representatives of German companies and economic figures.

His Majesty was accompanied by the Prime Minister, Chief of the Royal Court, the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Planning and Finance and President of the Aqaba Special Economic Zone.

German media highlighted King Abdullah's visit with front-page excerpts from the King's statements to leading newspapers and A.R.D German radio. Jordan's efforts are now concentrating on ways to find a peaceful outlet to the Iraqi crisis to avert the region dangers of a new conflict, King Abdullah said.

The King, who appreciated Germany's standpoint calling for settling the crisis between Iraq and UN through dialogue rather than the use of force, reaffirmed that Jordan "doesn't interfere in internal affairs of its neighbours and everybody knows including the Americans that Jordan will never allow its territories to be used as a launching pad for an attack on any of its neighbours."

In reply to a question by the German weekly "Deir Spiegel" on the possibility of the return of the Hashemites to rule in Iraq, King Abdullah said "It is unrealistic at this era to impose a leadership from outside on any nation." It is the Iraqi people who can decide what they want,” the King added.

Jordan is against the existence of weapons of mass destruction in the region, the King said. "If we ask Iraq to eliminate the weapons of mass destruction it owns, then we have to do the same with other countries in the region, be they are Arab counties or Israel," King Abdullah said.

On the Palestinian problem, the King expressed worry over the continued cycle of violence in the Palestinian areas. Whatever happens, everybody including the Israelis is aware of the inevitability of the establishment of the Palestinian state, King Abdullah added.