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Royal Hashemite Court (Jordan)

King holds talks with president Sarkozy and meets Prime Minister Fillon
Paris, 27 July 2011

His Majesty King Abdullah held talks on Wednesday with French President Nicolas Sarkozy.
Talks which took place at the Elysee Palace in Paris, covered developments in the Middle East and several regional and international issues of mutual concern.
At the meeting, attended by top officials from both sides, King Abdullah underscored France's role in supporting the Middle East to address the challenges facing it, particularly in enhancing the opportunity to achieve regional peace and resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict through the establishment of an independent Palestinian state on the 1967 borders.
Discussions also covered bilateral cooperation in several mega-projects Jordan is carrying out, particularly in telecommunications, transport and infrastructure fields as well as the possibility for the Kingdom to benefit from the French experience in the nuclear energy sector.
The two sides voiced satisfaction over the level of the Jordanian-French relations, underlining prospects of furthering these ties in various fields.
King Abdullah briefed Sarkozy on reform and development efforts Jordan is carrying out in various fields in order to meet the aspirations of Jordanian people.
During the discussions, which continued over a lunch banquet held in honour of the King and the accompanying delegation, Sarkozy highlighted King Abdullah's efforts to bring about peace in the Middle East as well as his efforts to achieve comprehensive reform and development in the Kingdom.
The King also met with French Prime Minister Francois Fillon, during which the two sides reviewed the latest developments in the Arab and regional arenas and efforts to achieve peace, which guarantees the establishment of an independent Palestinian state on Palestinian national soil with East Jerusalem as its capital.
Fillon expressed his willingness to continue coordination and consultation between the two countries regarding the current events in the region
The meetings were attended by Royal Court Chief Khalid Karaki, Minister of Foreign Affairs Nasser Judeh, Hassan, Jordan’s Ambassador to France Dina Kawar as well as several senior officials.
On the side line of the visit, Jordan and France signed on Wednesday a memorandum of understanding (MoU), under which France will provide the Kingdom with 600 million euros ($900 million) to finance development projects for the period 2011-2013.
The memo, signed by Minister of Planning and International Cooperation Jafar Hassan and Director General of the French Development Agency (AFD) Dov Zerah, will finance projects within the coming three years in priority sectors, including water, energy, sanitation, transport and environment, in addition to supporting small and medium enterprises.
The planning ministry said that in addition to the 600 million euros, the French agency will supply the Kingdom with 40 million euros as loan guarantees for small and medium enterprises.
The ministry said AFD is particularly interested in a project to build a national railway, adding that a large slice of the financial package can be used to fund such projects without the need for the government to guarantee the loans obtained in the process. The other part of the package can be used as soft loans to support the state budget, which would lessen government dependence on internal borrowing.
Detailed agreements governing the aspects of cooperation between Jordan and France will be signed later.