Official website of His Majesty King Abdullah II ibn Al Hussein
Speech of His Majesty King Abdullah II
On the Occasion of Independence Day
Amman, Jordan
25 May 2008

In the name of God, the Most Merciful, the Compassionate,

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

May God grant you good health. Welcome everybody, and many happy returns to you and the homeland.

Our meeting on this blessed occasion, Independence Day, is dear to our hearts and is an expression of our pride in the historic achievements of our fathers and grandfathers, for which they offered the greatest sacrifices; those men who marched with the founding father, the martyr King Abdullah Bin Al Hussein, King Talal and the builder, King Hussein. We owe our forebears eternal remembrance and to build on what they built, to continue our dedicated work, and to preserve the independence of this homeland and enhance it, comprehensively.

Independence is a progression of national achievement that enhances sovereignty, free will and independent national decision-making. To preserve independence, we must entrench economic independence through self-reliance.

All of us know the gravity of the challenges and conditions surrounding this homeland that directly affect our economic situation. I also know the reality of the lives of the sons and daughters of this dear homeland, in every district, from Shobak to Mafraq, from Mraighah to Azraq, from Hittin Camp to Qwairah and Jerash and beyond. I have visited the countryside, the Badia and the refugee camps and have learned first-hand the needs of their people, the way they live and their standard of living. This is my major concern and continuous duty. However, I want you, brothers, to know that in our march there are many achievements and bright spots.

For that reason, we march confidently on the right path, and I am sure of our economy's capability, and of our capabilities, as Jordanians, to face challenges, more than at any other time. Be sure, brothers, that we work diligently to realise your ambitions and ensure a better future for the coming generations. Many achievements have been realised in past years of which we could be proud. These achievements are an indicator that our march is right, and that our macroeconomic performance is moving forward for the better. There is an increase in real growth rates, in the ability to create new job opportunities and to increase the productivity of the Jordanian individual. These are all facts of which we are proud, and we are proud of you, because you are the ones who made them happen, and turned them into a tangible reality, with your will and resolve. We do not heed the voices of those who doubt our economic progress. The noble Jordanians will be, as they have always been, a model in terms of their capacity to realise great achievements, without attention to sceptics and out bidders.

On this occasion, I call on everyone to embrace optimism and hope. To be sure that our march moves forward, we will stick together to reap the fruits of what we plant today, God willing. My optimism, hope and confidence in the future stems from my trust in Jordanian youth, from the hope and optimism that radiate from their faces and from my belief in their will and their capability to meet challenges and make the future that we want for our homeland and the coming generations.

Our ambitions to elevate Jordan, now and forever, will remain relentless, with all the resolve and persistence we have. Just a few weeks ago, we were able, praise be to God, to deal with a sizable side of our foreign debt that burdened our national economy. We also launched our grand national project, Decent Housing for Decent Living, which will provide suitable housing for thousands of Jordanian families with limited income. In parallel, we will continue our work to improve the level of basic services, such as quality education and comprehensive health insurance, for Jordanian citizens.

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I was keen, from the moment I was honoured to assume responsibility, to work within and outside the homeland, to realise the ambitions of our people, improve their economic conditions and face all the political and economic challenges with diligence, achievement and resolve. Jordan today, in spite of the scarcity of its natural resources, is at the forefront of the region's states in several areas, primary among them are education, economic growth rates and the qualifications of the Jordanian youth who have always proved their excellence nationally and abroad. These achievements could not have been realised without the blessings of security and stability that Jordan enjoys, and that are a product of the efforts of our armed forces and security institutions. On this occasion, I send a sincere Hashemite greeting, full of hope and trust, to all the chivalrous men and women who defend the borders of the homeland, its security and stability.

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Political development, guaranteeing basic freedoms for citizens and civil society institutions and enhancing their participation in decision making, are all rights guaranteed by the Constitution; they are major requirements for realising sustainable comprehensive development; this cannot be realised except in an environment governed by the values of freedom, pluralism, tolerance, respect for others' opinions, the rule of law and equal opportunities. Within this framework, I have directed the government to cooperate with Parliament to pass a legislation package related to political development, especially that legislation related to the protection of children and women's rights, the facilitation of public gatherings and the enhancement of the role and independence of charitable organisations and other civil society institutions.

As for the political situation and conditions surrounding this country, we are dealing, praise be to God, with this situation and the latest developments with utmost wisdom and awareness, for the sake of preserving our country's security and stability, and protecting its march and achievements and its balanced relations with neighbouring countries and friends.

As for the Palestinian issue, it is our duty and our firm historic stance to support our Palestinian brothers. We will never hesitate to play any role and will not spare any effort and will use all our good relations with influential states and international circles to empower our Palestinian brothers to attain their rights, and establish their independent state on Palestinian land. We are committed to this role, and committed to the option of just peace on the basis of international resolutions and within the unanimous Arab consensus on a peaceful settlement. We, the Hashemites, have dedicated ourselves to the service of our Arab and Islamic nation and its causes, since the dawn of Islam. We will never abandon our pan-nationalist duty to defend all just Arab causes.

Finally, I would like to extend a greeting of pride and trust to every citizen, man and woman, on the soil of this dear homeland, and reaffirm our determination and resolve to keep Jordan strong, powerful and invincible, always. We will always be, with God's help, firm in all that is right, performing our duty for our loyal people, protecting our homeland and defending its achievements with the vigour and resolve of the noble Jordanians. Many happy returns to you and to the homeland.

Peace, God's mercy and blessings be upon you.