At the dinner banquet hosted by His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu'izzaddin Waddaulah, the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan
Brunei Darussalam, Brunei
13 May 2008
In the name of God, the Most Merciful, the Compassionate,
Your Majesty, there is no greater pleasure than to be with you today, and no higher honour than to receive the Royal Family Order of the Crown of Brunei.
When my father received this Order more than twenty years ago, it became one of his most treasured possessions. And for me it is the same. This magnificent symbol represents the enduring friendship between our families and peoples – a pledge of our continuing partnership, in an important and turbulent century.
His Majesty King Hussein deeply believed in the strong bond between Jordan and Brunei. He keenly enjoyed Your Majesty's companionship, and appreciated your good counsel. I have also been grateful for Your Majesty's wisdom. I remember many key moments when we met to receive your counsel on issues of vital concern: Middle East peace; global security; bilateral relationships, and more. I have greatly appreciated your support for the Amman Message and the values it expresses. Together, I believe we can and must give our people – and Muslims everywhere – their rightful place in the progress of our era. The path forward is based on the noble values of Islam: justice, compassion, respect for others, and excellence in all we do.
Thanks to Your Majesty's leadership, Brunei and its distinguished people are having a global impact today. Today, nations across the world look to your country as a leader in cooperation for development. In ASEAN, in the relationship between Asia and the Middle East, and in the global Islamic community, you have promoted the close, effective partnerships that are so necessary today.
It is my hope that in our visit this week, and in the days ahead, we can find new ways to bring our countries and regions even closer. Brunei Darussalam and Jordan have important similarities. Two small sovereign states, with active global roles. Two governments, committed to the welfare and advancement of their people. Two talented, young populations, with high aspirations for the future.
Together, I believe that we can move forward to create the future these young people need.
Our countries both recognise the critical need to achieve a comprehensive peace in the Middle East. If we are to grasp this opportunity – to end humanitarian suffering in Palestine – to curb extremist manoeuvring: we need a settlement between Israel and the Palestinians this year. Brunei has a worldwide role in peace and justice. Together, we must continue to press forward.
Your Majesty, your warm welcome to us today is a symbol of your faithful friendship to Jordan and the Arab World. On behalf of Rania and myself, and the entire Jordanian delegation, allow me to thank you and all the people of Brunei for your great courtesy and kindness.
Every time we visit you and your country, we experience a new dimension of all that Brunei represents - amazing achievements, beautiful people and culture, and extraordinary hospitality. And we hope, God willing, to welcome you soon to our country, where we can return all your kindness, in the enduring friendship of the Jordanian people.