At the State Banquet Hosted by the President of the Federal Republic of Germany His Excellency Johannes Rau and Mrs. Christina Rau
22 October 2002
Your Excellency, President Rau,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is a privilege for Rania, myself, and the entire delegation, to be with you this evening. The wonderful people of Germany have reached out with warmth and hospitality, and made us feel truly welcome. And in return, I hope that in some small way we can convey to you the friendship, admiration and respect that is held for this great nation by all Jordanians.
Our meetings and conversations here are in keeping with the special relationship that exists between our two countries. It is a partnership, long in history, rich with common interests and values, and sustained daily, by the many interactions of the German and Jordanian people.
During our visit, our delegation has met with distinguished members of the German Government as well as leaders from the private sector. We have also exchanged views on international developments, especially events related to the Middle East.
I must tell you that today, Germany stands a symbol of hope to people working for freedom and development around the world. Your commitment to cooperation, inclusion, and opportunity offers a model for other nations.
We have watched with admiration your active and constructive role in supporting your neighbours as they gain their place within the European Union. We have a high regard for your successful model of peace, development and progress.
In Jordan, too, we are creating a new model for our region, a model that celebrates human rights, human talents, and human opportunity. We are at peace with our neighbours, and seek to extend the realm of peace. We are committed to dialogue of cultures, faiths, and societies. And we are actively pursuing development, in partnership with friends across the world. I am particularly pleased that we have joined with EU member countries in an Association Agreement, within the larger Mediterranean-European Partnership.
His late Majesty King Hussein dedicated his life to ensuring the triumph of reason over extremism, of peace over conflict and strife, and of harmony over discord and rivalry. That is Jordan's legacy, and my legacy. But it is more: it is our future, and the world's future.
I know that Germany shares with us the dream of creating stable Middle East. It is more urgent than ever that we act before it is too late. We need to listen to the yearning of the peoples of the Middle East for peace, hear the solemn prayers of Palestinian mothers for justice to be done, and for rights to be restored, hear the hopes of Israeli children for secure and safe future. Yes, we need to listen, we need to respond-and we need to succeed.
Germany's role will, I know, be critical. People everywhere look to your experience and insights. I am pleased that both our government realise the urgent need for a comprehensive, lasting peace in the region, and I welcome your commitment to work together to achieve this urgent goal. I look forward to continuing our exchange tomorrow with His Excellency the Chancellor and with his team.
Thank you again for your kindness and generosity. It has been a pleasure to be here in Berlin. Rania and I hope to welcome you and Mrs. Rau very soon to Jordan, when we hope to reciprocate some of the hospitality that we have enjoyed in this land of rich history, excellence, and most of all, of exceptional people.