At the Fifth Jordanian Ambassadors Forum
Dead Sea, Jordan
29 April 2010
(Translated from Arabic)
I am pleased to be with you today at this meeting, and I hope it is an effective mechanism to exchange views and information and to coordinate your work so that you will continue to represent the Kingdom effectively and serve Jordanian, Arab and Muslim interests and causes.
Jordan has been able to build a wide network of good relations with most countries of the world, and yours is the responsibility to translate those into real opportunities that serve our development and win international support for our concerns and causes.
Jordan is making steady steps towards improving our economic situation and establishing an attractive investment environment. Much work has been done to heighten our ability to compete and to increase the opportunities that you, as ambassadors, are expected to highlight in order to attract investment that will in turn improve economic conditions and provide job opportunities for citizens.
I have mentioned several times that my primary concern is to improve living standards of Jordanian citizens and provide them with the best. Naturally, developing economic ties with other countries will have a direct impact on our efforts in this regard.
It is true that economic conditions are tough, but there are tremendous opportunities that we must exploit. The government is currently working within a clear methodology and well-studied work plans in order to reach specific objectives. I am optimistic that with this serious effort, we will overcome the challenges and advance in our reform and development process in all political, economic, administrative and social fields.
The vision is clear and work is serious, and with God's will and everyone's cooperation, we will build the best future that our people seek.
And as you all know, the Palestinian issue is a top priority for us. We will continue to do whatever we can to bring justice to the Palestinians, end the occupation and help them achieve their rights to freedom and a state on their national soil.
Unfortunately, the peace process is in crisis, but it is our duty towards the peoples of the region to continue to pursue a just peace that restores Palestinian and Arab rights on the basis of the two-state solution and within a regional and comprehensive context.
I have warned and continue to warn that the alternative to peace is more conflict, war and suffering. The status quo is unacceptable, and if we do not achieve the required progress in negotiations, I fear that current tensions will escalate. Everyone will pay a price for this.
Israel must choose between living in a fortress or reaching peace with all Arab and Muslim states on the basis of the Arab Peace Initiative, by withdrawing from occupied Arab lands and establishing an independent Palestinian state living in security and peace alongside Israel within a comprehensive peace that ensures real security and acceptance for Israel.
Building peace requires a positive environment to launch negotiations. This means a halt to Israeli unilateral measures in the occupied lands, especially settlement construction in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. These are illegal activities that we oppose and categorically condemn. They are also obstacles to all our efforts to achieve peace.
With regards to Jerusalem in particular, Israel is playing with fire. Jerusalem with its holy sites, for all the Arabs and Muslims, is a sacred issue. All political, diplomatic and legal options are open to us to protect Jerusalem and its Muslim and Christian holy sites.
We want peace and strive for it, because all the people of the region are entitled to a just peace. Israel must respond to this Arab position, for peace alone, and not armies or walls, will guarantee real security for all people and all countries.
I wish you success in this conference and have the highest expectations of you.
God bless your efforts.