At the State Dinner for the President of the Republic of Austria Dr. Heinz Fischer and Mrs. Fischer
9 November 2008
President Fischer, Mrs. Fischer,
On behalf of the Jordanian people, may I warmly welcome you and your distinguished delegation tonight. Our country is honoured by your presence.
For Rania and me, your visit brings back wonderful memories of being in Vienna last April. It is our wish to give you a great experience of dynamic and historic Jordan.
Mr. President, the meetings we had today highlight the common challenges we face: The position of our countries in the global economy… the need to ensure the welfare of our citizens… and the absolute necessity of ending regional conflicts.
They also show that we have numerous opportunities to strengthen our cooperation … to better serve the interests of our people … to contribute to a dialogue of civilizations that can end cultural misconceptions … and to promote tolerance and acceptance of the Other.
We share important openings and opportunities - gateways to markets ... productive capacity ... aspiring populations ... and more. We have a tremendous shared interest in coordinating these economic strengths, to help both our countries move ahead.
This is vital as we think about the economic future we are shaping. Young Jordanians, young Austrians, want, and deserve, to share in the progress of humanity and the wealth of this earth. My friends, together, we can, and must, help make sure they succeed.
Over the next few days, I hope you will have a chance to see Jordan's progressive path: The people and institutions that are expanding our country's capabilities and creating new opportunity ... Development initiatives that focus on improving people's lives and building for the future ... And our national investment in Jordan's natural and historic treasures - from Amman to Aqaba to Petra and beyond.
Mr. President, as Jordan moves forward, we have deeply appreciated your country's friendship and support. We applaud Austria's positive role in a strong and productive Euro-Med Partnership. We warmly welcome both official and private-sector ties. I know members of the private sectors in both countries will meet during this visit. I hope their discussions will be fruitful in creating more cooperation. Here in Jordan, Austrians have brought expertise and vision to a new generation of business and development partnerships. I see great potential for even more interaction in the years ahead.
Austria has a prominent role in the great neighbourhood that includes Europe and the Middle East. Austrians are respected throughout the region as honest brokers and friends of justice. You see - as we do - the vital importance of Europe's active engagement in Middle East peace. You have been our partner in the urgent work for a real end to conflict … for a solution that brings justice and statehood to the Palestinians, and guarantees security and acceptance for Israel.
Together, we must stand firm for moderation and acceptance among peoples and religions. We must work for a future of peace and cooperation. To realize such a future, we must build partnerships … we must work together. And we will work together.
It is a delight to welcome you to Jordan. I wish you the best of visits - and many returns. To all of you here, I wish you an exciting and productive week. Thank you.