At the Noordeinde Palace State Banquet Hosted by Her Majesty Queen Beatrix
The Hague, The Netherlands
30 October 2006
It is a great pleasure to join you tonight, in this magnificent setting. Rania and I, and our entire delegation, thank you for receiving us with such warmth and hospitality.
Your Majesty, it is more than an honour to be with you tonight. The friendship between our families is an enduring one. We have been together in times of joy as well as in times of sorrow. My father King Hussein knew you, as I do, as a true and wise friend. He treasured, as I do, the values our families hold in common: love of our countries and people, a duty to serve and our belief in the future, a future of infinite possibility for all humankind.
My father visited your historic and wonderful country numerous times. And he often spoke of his respect and admiration for you and your people. Tonight I am here, to express Jordan's continuing friendship and esteem.
Moral leadership and practical action: this is what we see in the Netherlands' international role. We appreciate the Netherlands' work for peace and global justice. Dutch forces have served a vital role in the coalition force that is supporting Iraqi unity, security, and rebuilding. And your country spoke out clearly and forcefully to end the aggression in Lebanon this summer. Most important, the Dutch people have consistently supported a Middle East peace in accord with legality, including the viable, independent Palestine that is so urgently needed. For your commitment and actions, the Arab people give the Netherlands their thanks.
The Netherlands has also been active in the cause of human rights. For Jordanians, it is our cause as well. We are building an open, civil society, based on human rights, the rule of law, tolerance, and inclusion. To make that vision real, Jordan has a national agenda for reform and development, with input from leading citizens throughout our country.
This process is ongoing. And we will not turn back. As many of you know, Rania and I were looking forward to visiting you last November. But we postponed because of a national tragedy, the bombings in Amman.
Your Majesty, after the Amman bombings, you and your government and many, many of your citizens sent messages of sympathy and support. It was a tremendous expression of shared humanity, compassion, and concern. On behalf of Jordanians, we thank you.
The warm welcome shown my delegation has been a symbol of our partnership. I appreciate this opportunity to visit and discuss matters that profoundly concern us both - peace and development, interfaith dialogue and respect and strengthening cooperation.
Allow me to say that Her Majesty has set a global example of those bonds. Her work is a powerful demonstration of how interfaith dialogue and a commitment to respect others, contributes to understanding and harmony.
I hope that in the days ahead, our Dutch friends will visit us in Jordan and continue the partnership we are cementing here. I invite you to meet our people, especially our youth and experience their energy, generosity, and gratitude.
You did our country honour when you paid Jordan a state visit in 1994. On behalf of Rania and my entire family, and on behalf of all the people of Jordan, I would like to extend a special invitation to you to visit us again; allow us to reciprocate your wonderful hospitality.