At the State Banquet Hosted by His Excellency the President of the Swiss Federation Kaspar Villiger
4 October 2002
Ladies and Gentlemen,
On behalf of Queen Rania, and my entire delegation, I would like to thank you for welcoming us with such warmth and hospitality.
Let me say that for me, this is a very important visit. To many people around the globe, Switzerland sits not only at the top of the world, but in many ways, at its centre.
It is here that the world's most historic international treaties and conventions have been agreed. It is here that the world has seen what neutrality can mean: not isolation, but the rejection of violence; not indifference, but the love of law. Today, in the farthest corners of Earth, people associate Switzerland with fairness and humanity.
Mr. President, at the United Nations, you proudly called Switzerland a “small yet confident country.” Please allow me to offer a slight amendment: in world affairs, Switzerland is large, indeed.
Today, I am proud to represent another small yet confident country – one that shares your vision of a world of peace and prosperity for all our peoples.
Earlier today, we discussed how to promote cooperation in a variety of ways -- political, economic, and cultural. I am grateful for your enthusiastic support and look forward to continuing to work with you towards our goals. We also held some very productive meetings yesterday, with prominent Swiss entrepreneurs. I am pleased to find major areas of cooperation that I believe will benefit both our countries.
It goes without saying that we have also devoted a considerable part of our meetings to discussing the situation in the Middle East. We both agree that this tragic chapter of violence, war, and siege must end immediately. Justice, peace, and security – for all – must govern the rules of the process.
With justice, peace can come; humanity can prevail over hatred; and hope can bring a new future for all.
In a recent speech you quoted the eminent Swiss historian, Jacob Burckhardt, who said, “History is change.” Burckhardt also wrote, “The world is not so large as men have thought.” In our fast-paced, global Century, what happens to others has a tremendous impact on all of us.
Today, in the Middle East, we cannot afford further escalation – not only for the sake of our region, but for the sake of our world. It is the duty of the international community to restore a well-defined process, a process that will fulfill the need for justice, and answer the yearning for peace and stability.
It's time now to resume the peace process and bring it to a real resolution. We ask your help. And we promise you ... you can count on Jordan to be a steadfast partner on the path to peace.
Rania and I look forward to welcoming you and Mrs. Villiger to Jordan. You will find it a land of great heritage, diversity, and energy. And we will do our best to reciprocate the gracious welcome that you have shown us.
Thank you very much.