To Ali Abul Ragheb

From King Abdallah II of Jordan
(Letter of re-designation)
To Ali Abul Ragheb
14 January 2002
Translated from Arabic

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

Your Excellency Ali Abul Ragheb,

May God protect you,

I have received your kind letter expressing your sincere allegiance and loyalty, both of which we have long recognised. You also express your wish to submit the resignation of your cabinet after more than one and a half years of earnest and devoted labour, courage in shouldering responsibility, and professional performance.

During the period in which you and your colleagues assumed responsibility, I have followed your decisions and the comprehensive progress you achieved. You have persevered in building a country of institutions, a society of justice, equality and respect for human rights, and in advancing the standard of living among Jordanians and maintaining their liberty and rights as dictated by the constitution.

I have always had faith in you and have long known your ability to bear responsibility with honour, true devotion to your country, courage in decision-making, and confidence in the future.

However, you have chosen to submit the resignation of your cabinet to allow a new set of ministers to continue the journey. Therefore, I accept the resignation of your cabinet, and present my profound gratitude to each of the ministers who worked with you. May God reward them well, on our behalf and on that of Jordan, for all their achievements.

Furthermore, because of my faith in you and in your ability to bear responsibility and implement national plans and programmes laid down by your abdicating cabinet, I herewith entrust you with the task of forming a new cabinet that will, with confidence and determination, continue our national progress towards building a modern Jordan, true to its aims and to the resolve of the Jordanian people.

Thus, I place before you, and the ministers whom you choose to shoulder this responsibility alongside you, the principles and duties which I hope the cabinet will promote and commit itself to fulfilling:

First, our national unity is the pillar of Jordanian society. It is for us, as I mentioned before, a red line not to be crossed or trifled with. I wish to see our society strong and united, with the spirit of brotherhood and love prevailing amongst citizens. The basis for this is to create justice and equal opportunities for all. All citizens are equal before the law, and pluralism should support and enrich our progress, not impede it. The measure of true nationalism is one’s belonging to Jordan and one’s honour and respect for its Constitution.

Second, democracy is a way of life from which we should not deviate regardless of the challenges. We should, therefore, uphold this progress, support it, and allow it to grow and prosper. I have pointed out earlier the necessity of developing political life in Jordan and of bringing the spirit of responsibility and concern for national assets to all civil society activities and associations. Intellectual, political, and party pluralism are the essence of democratic life; difference of opinion is acceptable as long as it does not oppose the Constitution or cause unrest or disturb security and stability. Jordanians have enough awareness and patriotism to allow them to understand the meaning of responsible freedom and national interest. We will not allow any one person or group to trifle with this progress or to upset it.

As for parliamentary achievement, it is a basic factor in democracy, I entrust you and your colleagues the ministers to take all the necessary measures and make the necessary preparations for elections within the timeframe provided for them by law, with transparency and integrity. This will be the fruit of our democratic mission. I also entrust you with facilitating citizens' participation in the elections.

Should pressing circumstances call for the absence of parliamentary life for a short while, I hope this will leave us all room to review the approach of the legislative authority in dealing with the executive authority, so that cooperation between them will be in the interest of the nation and the people, unhindered by narrow personal considerations. We highly appreciate the achievements of the legislative authority and the influence of progress on thought and opinion. I take this opportunity to invite all loyal Jordanians to exercise their right to elect and choose those who are worthy of this responsibility. My confidence in the awareness and understanding of the people has no limits.

Third, if we feel secure in the past successes of our nation, we should also realise that the path ahead is still long. The challenges imposed by local and international developments cast their shadows on us, while we continue to endure the harmful effects poverty and unemployment, and to bear the burden of foreign debt, in addition to the decline of some of the services and the expansion of the government administration.

In this respect, I find that the issues contained in my message to you at the end of last October form the basis for the government's working plan. In it, I recommended the following: placing special emphasis on developing human resources; improving the quality of government services; concentrating on a number of structural reforms in the fields of finance, administration, youth, and information; and attracting investments according to a new working plan. I also emphasised the need for a speedy implementation of major national projects in the water and electricity sectors, the development of Aqaba and the investment of national capital there, as well as completing the privatisation project. It is also necessary to attend to the agriculture, tourism, and environment sectors as important aids to our national economy.

The points of emphasis in the government's working plan for the next stage are as follows: to achieve economic expansion and to support the progress of our national economy. We see that expediting the achievement of economic and social change, proposed recently by the cabinet and approved by us, is extremely necessary, considering that it involves important measures and policies. It will also provide comprehensive development in the governorates as well as employment opportunities, and improve the services and the performance of various government functions.

Fourth, the Arab Army, the protective barrier of the nation and its invincible shield, is our eternal pride. We must, therefore, provide it with whatever is required for it to defend the nation's progress and contribute to its development. The same applies to the security services, which we have supported and developed. They have become the guardians of the safety of the nation and the people, and have made considerable achievements of which we are proud. We should also provide their needs and those required by their work, and at the same time we stress their obligation to honour the civilian, safeguard his dignity and establish a relation of trust and cooperation with him.

Earlier, we proposed the major issue in the government's working plan. This falls within the programme of making twenty-first century Jordan, a model of justice, freedom, and honour. To provide civilians with prosperity and a decent life tops the priorities list, and actual achievement would be measured by individual and institutional performance. Moreover, personal qualification and integrity would be the criteria for appointment to public office. We are partial to none at the expense of national interest, for there will be no room for corruption, favouritism, and personal considerations in the forward course of our national efforts.

Fifth, Jordan is part and parcel of the Arab and Muslim world, with all the duties and responsibilities that this imposes on us and reflects on our identity and goals. We will always support our brothers in Palestine and stand by them with all means possible until they secure their right to establish a state on Palestinian soil, with the holy city of Jerusalem as its capital.

We must support Arab cooperation and coalition, work responsibly with our brothers, and put into perspective the goals of the Arab people throughout the Arab world in order to lift the siege on Iraq and gather it back into the Arab nation. We shall continue to believe in a just and lasting peace and to be aware of our humanitarian role, which is rooted in our Islamic, Arab and Hashemite heritage. We will promote, to the full extent of our ability, international causes in the interest of the prosperity of the individual, to alleviate his suffering.

In the letter I refer to, I set down my vision of the future. The letter expresses our confidence in our country's role and promising future. Our progress towards prosperity and development should be accompanied by a comprehensive view and positive faith, and by bringing together the nation's capacities and its people. With the help of God, you will find support among your loyal compatriots in achieving these ambitions and completing the programmes I mentioned.

I ask God to give you and your colleagues success and to guide us all on the right path. I expect you to provide me with the names of your colleagues, the ministers.

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

Abdullah II ibn Al Hussein
Amman, 14 January 2002