To Faisal Fayez

From King Abdallah II of Jordan
To Faisal Fayez
22 October 2003
Translated from Arabic

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

Your Excellency Faisal Fayez,


Throughout your work with me during the past years, I have known you as faithful person who enjoys virtue and good qualities that have characterised your performance and stands. In all the assignments we have entrusted you to undertake, you were always a man of initiative and devotion in implementing directives on the ground, with loyalty, dedication and sincerity.

Because the will to change requires someone who can translate into practice our aspiration to improve the life of our people and secure a prosperous future for our young men and women, I have chosen you to form a new government that is willing and able to realise the hoped-for change and reap the fruit of development and welfare. Regardless of the clarity of the vision and its ability to identify shortcomings and find solutions, it will not fully manifest without the will and the ability to transform wishes and hopes into tangible reality. As we appreciate the work of all preceding governments, all of which have performed sincerely and with perseverance over the past years, and thank them for their accomplishments, we will always carry in the mind and heart their achievements and honourable service to their beloved homeland, Jordan, in the past and the present.

We all owe our faithful Jordanian people joint work to secure the prosperous future of which they and Jordan are worthy. Along our path to achieve that noble end, we are now standing at the threshold of a new era during which we will move from the Jordan of the present to the future Jordan, supported by our and your faith that we are always for Jordan.

The change we are looking forward to is not an end in itself, but rather a means to realise the vision. Therefore, it is time that we impartially evaluate the progress of our previous governments, without generalising about their experiences and criticising their performance. That is because we have risen above personal judgments to rational and objective diagnosis. Therefore, we should take note of the weaknesses that occasionally characterised their performance as well as the lack of coordination between their members, which affected the spirit of teamwork and reflected negatively on harmony among them and on the accomplishment of policy goals.

The purpose of government change is to realise fixed, rather than fluid and temporary, goals. We want this government change because it is time to proceed from theory to practice, to willingness and comprehensive efforts, to one initiative followed by another, and one accomplishment followed by another. This country deserves such endeavours. Our children deserve a strong and prosperous Jordan that sets an example of a Muslim and Arab democracy that is deeply entrenched, economically advanced, and founded on the principles of justice, equality and equal opportunities; a country where political pluralism, the supremacy of law and respect of rights prevail. We want government change to achieve our priorities without hesitation, fear or delay.

On top of these priorities is political development in every respect. Since we have, thank God, been blessed with security and stability, and gone a long way towards entrenching democracy in deed as well as word, we must apply the concept of political development whereby all the sectors of society take part. We seek honesty, accountability and transparency. We want effective and real participation by Jordanian women and youth whose potential should be activated and invested in the different walks of life. We realise that there cannot be comprehensive development without investment in our youth and without women obtaining their full rights in society. We seek political development that yields strong and unified political parties of different leanings that fulfil the concept of Jordan First and preserve the country's pride and strength.

We want a democracy that is based on dialogue and respects others' viewpoints. We want reforms to a judiciary that embodies honesty and neutrality as well as safeguards rights. We want responsible press freedom that serves the goals of the Jordanian state, represents the conscience and the identity of citizens and reflects Jordan's determination and the aspirations of its men and women. We want honest and responsible media that embody the country's conscience and identity and enjoy freedom of expression and pluralism in opinion. We want media that embody our vision of change and is professional and capable of making difference, rather than a media that is scared, helpless and hesitant. The media should highlight Jordan's Arab, regional role. At the time we have successfully carried our message abroad, our media has failed to convey our message and represent our achievements to citizens. It remains a passive recipient rather than an influential player.

The political development we envision is one that seeks knowledge and enlightenment for all, and works to emphasise our bright, civilised Islamic identity based on tolerance and creativity. Jordan should be highlighted as a model Muslim country.

The government has a tremendous chance to prepare modern laws that contribute to successful political development. We want an advanced political parties law and a democratic elections law on the basis of which the 2007 elections would be held, in addition to political openness to all sectors of the society.

Feasible economic development with tangible results has also been a core priority since I assumed my responsibilities. Our people have tolerated economic and living conditions, some of which we all realise were brought about by regional developments and were beyond our will. Nevertheless, it is time that we address the domestic impediments to the achievement of comprehensive development, the fruit of which could be reaped by all Jordanian men and women struggling for a decent life and a better future.

Therefore, economic development should be coupled with economic reforms based on our own resources and competitive edge. Reforms should also be accomplished through administrative reforms that reward the hardworking, spur the reluctant and cast out the corrupt. The economic development we seek must realise economic achievements, push up the growth rate, secure jobs on a comprehensive scale, reduce unemployment and urge all to embrace work and fully take part in reaping its yield.

The economic development that we have employed all our potential to achieve should ensure recovery from poverty, and real economic prosperity by attracting investments, upgrading legislation and removing distortions so that we can grow from a traditional economy into a modern and prosperous economy.

The fruits of sustainable economic and political development manifest in social development of all socio-economic sectors of the local community. Comprehensive social development involves education, vocational training and healthcare.

There is an urgent need to achieve this comprehensive development in order to realise our vision, which is characterised by unity in goals. Differences in opinion are ruled out, provided that the essence is one and objectives are set with clarity and without hesitation.

The desired government performance includes cabinet members' full commitment to teamwork and unity of will and ambition so that tangible results are achieved. We need a government of ministers rather than employees, a team acting in harmony that embraces transparency completely. Ministers should declare the goals of their respective ministries with absolute clarity, constantly share with citizens the results achieved, point to loopholes and trouble spots with firmness and courage and spur all those concerned to join efforts so as to remove the obstacles.

The principle of absolute transparency, coupled with that of accountability for performance are the basis of success. The government that meets our aspirations and secures for our children all that they deserve is the one that assumes its responsibilities collectively as a team while each individual minister takes responsibility for his respective portfolio. The government that I seek comprises a prime minister and ministers who work hand-in-hand to face the difficulties, act with transparency, and respond with broadmindedness to offer constructive, rather than destructive, criticism. Ministers should respect accountability and appreciate responsibility. These are the qualities that certainly yield rewards and satisfaction for the ministers on the one hand, and guarantee the country the stability, prosperity and welfare it deserves.

Your Excellency,

The vision I have for Jordan’s future and renaissance is crystal clear, because it has distinct features and goals. Therefore we are eager to have a self-motivated government that we do not have to ask at every turn what it has achieved and what its future plans are. We want this government to base its performance on specific and detailed mechanisms, to implement decisions so that vision is translated into facts on the ground. Having said this, there is a need for swift action to develop the decision-making process in isolation of bureaucratic delays. This necessitates that government decisions are made in a clear, institutionalised and transparent manner through all the necessary channels. We have an absolute belief that as a basic methodology, this is the ultimate guarantee of the proper evaluation of individual ministries' productivity, consistency and cumulative decisions. Each ministry should seek perfection through the sequence of decisions it takes and achievements it realises until the envisioned goals are accomplished and the desirable change is evident in all fields of development.

Mechanisms to implement decisions are vital. These mechanisms control the rhythm of development efforts, and measure achievement and progress towards the goals envisaged.

We want the government to endeavour to narrow the gap and enhance feasibility and productivity. We want it to interact, to integrate, to take initiative and to persevere until goals are achieved. We look forward to a government that cooperates with the Parliament and coordinates with the legislative authority to help boost its performance and monitoring function.

We look forward to a government that establishes a framework for the evaluation of its performance, progress towards its goals, techniques and methodology. It should also set methods for self-correction. We want a government whose action speaks for it, one that couples words with deeds.

As we look forward to a government that is effective at the domestic level, we are also ambitious to have a government effective at the Arab and regional levels so that we will remain, as always, a stalwart brother of the Palestinian people with the aim of helping them achieve their goals of liberation and independence. We want to remain true supporters of brotherly Iraq as it pursues its freedom and independence, and we want our government to set an example of Arab solidarity and efforts to enhance joint Arab action.

I am full of confidence that any government that sincerely works to fulfil our vision and the aspirations of our children will meet success. I am expecting Your Excellency to provide me with a list of your ministerial team whose capability you trust to translate into reality our vision for Jordan First and Last. We wish you good luck.

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

Abdullah II ibn Al Hussein
Amman, 22 October 2003