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Speeches
Speech of His Majesty King Abdullah II
On the Occasion of the 40th Anniversary of the Karamah Battle
Dead Sea, Jordan
19 March 2008

(Translated from Arabic)
In the Name of God, the Most Merciful, the Compassionate,

Brothers, chivalrous comrades in arms,

May God grant you good health, and a happy new year to you and the homeland.

Our meeting on this blessed day coincides with a great anniversary dear to the hearts of Muslims, the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). We remember in this pure place that is soaked with the blood of martyrs and the gallant deeds of the Arab Army, the fortieth anniversary of the Battle of Karamah, during which this army's honourable officers and soldiers realised the greatest of victories. They registered an epic of bravery, heroism, sacrifice and belonging, and reclaimed for the nation its dignity and self confidence.

In this place, forty years ago, Jordanians fought with honour and bravery, to defend Jordan's soil, and in spite of the enemy's superior equipment, armour and capabilities, the sons of this army achieved a victory that stunned the enemy, and forced it to concede defeat for the first time in its history.

Here, forty years ago, the voice of Al Hussein, may God's mercy be upon him, was loud and clear, supporting the chivalrous officers and soldiers and bolstering their morale. These officers and soldiers were worthy of Al Hussein's confidence. Some were wounded, some were martyred and others celebrated the great victory.

We today, and from this place, send our greetings filled with pride to all those who participated in, and contributed to, this battle, from the different brigades and units in the Arab Army: Al Qadisiyyah Brigade, Princess Alia Brigade, Hittin Brigade, Al Hashemi Brigade, the 60th Armoured Brigade, and the rest of the battalions from the artillery, engineering, maintenance, communications, medical services and others from all the units that contributed to achieving victory in this battle.

As for those who were martyred, the noblest among men, they were honoured by God, with an honour greater than any honour on earth. God Almighty said: "Do not think that those who were killed for God's cause are dead. They are living, and are being sustained by God." (Al Imran: 169). And within our tradition of being proud of our history, we stand today in reverence of the Arab Army's martyrs in the Karamah Battle and all others that the Arab Army has fought in defence of Arab land and Arab dignity, whether in Palestine, or any other place in the great Arab homeland.

Whatever conditions prevail, the battles of the Arab Army and its sacrifices and the names of the martyrs and their heroic deeds, will always remain medals of pride and honour that every Jordanian citizen holds dear, because it is our history and identity that we cannot forget. And we will never allow it to be compromised, or denied or belittled, by any body, whoever he may be.

The historical lesson of this battle, which the world and the conflicting parties in the Palestine question should understand, is that the solution and settlement of this issue cannot be realised either through war or an enforced solution. A solution will only be realised by returning rights to whom they are due, and by recognising the Palestinian people's right to establish their independent state on Palestinian soil. This is the road of salvation from war and its destruction, from which the peoples of the region have suffered for more than sixty years.

We need to know, dear bothers, that every stage of the homeland's march has its challenges and dangers. We should always be ready to meet these challenges, and confront any danger that may threaten our security or our stability. This is not a responsibility of the armed forces and the security institutions alone, but rather the responsibility of every citizen, man and woman, in this country, each in his assigned position and in accordance with his role and responsibilities.

There are always those, whether outside or inside Jordan, who do not seek good for this homeland. It is our duty to always maintain the highest level of awareness, to shoulder responsibility and to be ready to confront any danger or any attempt to tamper with this homeland's security or stability.

Again, dear brothers, I extend to you greetings of pride in every soldier and officer in the armed forces and the security institutions, and to every citizen, man and woman, in this homeland.

May God bless you all, and a happy new year to our dear Jordan. Peace, God's mercy and blessings be upon you.