King urges international community to stand against measures that undermine historical, legal status quo, instigate violence in Palestinian Territories

11 April 2023

His Majesty King Abdullah on Tuesday urged the international community “to stand against measures that undermine the historical and legal status quo and instigate violence” in the Palestinian Territories.

In a joint press statement with Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio, following bilateral and expanded talks, attended by His Royal Highness Crown Prince Al Hussein bin Abdullah II, King Abdullah said “the Palestinian issue was at the top of our discussions today.”

His Majesty stressed “the urgency of stopping all unilateral measures that violate the historical and legal status quo at Jerusalem’s Muslim and Christian holy sites.”

“This is key to stopping the dangerous escalation, maintaining calm, and creating a political horizon that would preserve the prospects of just and lasting peace, based on the two-state solution,” the King stressed.

“And let us all remember that peace between the Palestinians and the Israelis is integral to prosperity and peace for the entire region and all its peoples,” His Majesty continued, expressing appreciation of Prime Minister Kishida for Japan’s unwavering position on the matter.

The King commended Japan’s leading voice for peace in the Middle East, especially through the Corridor for Peace and Prosperity Initiative.

With regard to the Jordanian-Japanese partnership, His Majesty expressed pride in the strong level of cooperation and close coordination between the two countries, noting that “we look forward to marking 70 years of diplomatic relations next year.”

The King also noted that Japan has always stood by Jordan, and it continues to be a key partner for the Kingdom as it moves forward in economic modernisation, thanking Japan for its continuous development support.

“We look forward to advancing our cooperation,” His Majesty said, noting promising sectors such as tourism, education, ICT, and water and food security.

The King reaffirmed that Jordan and Japan’s partnership stems from a shared belief in the importance of working towards global stability, and it extends to cooperation in defence, as well as countering terrorism, especially through the Aqaba Process.

For his part, the Japanese prime minister said he shared His Majesty’s concerns over the developments in the Palestinian Territories.

“His Majesty the King and I share grave concerns about the Israeli-Palestinian situation,” he said, urging self-restraint and avoiding unilateral actions to prevent further deterioration of the situation that may hinder the realisation of the two-state solution.

“In this respect, the role played by the Hashemite Custodianship over the holy sites in Jerusalem is extremely important,” Prime Minister Kishida said, expressing “deepest respect to the leadership of His Majesty” and his efforts to ease tensions in the region.

He added that Japan will continue to promote its own initiatives, such as the Corridor for Peace and Prosperity initiative to contribute to building confidence between the two parties.

The prime minister said Jordan is the keystone for peace and stability in the Middle East and one of the most important partners for Japan in the region, adding, “I pay my highest esteem to His Majesty, who has endeavoured for the development of Jordan as well as for the solving of regional issues.”

Prime Minister Kishida said the talks with His Majesty covered broad areas, including economic and security cooperation, with the two sides agreeing to deepen the bilateral strategic partnership and cooperation in the international arena.

In the economic field, the prime minister cited the signing of a programme to bring a solution to water shortage in Jordan, by supporting the Aqaba-Amman Water Desalination and Conveyance Project, stressing that Japan will continue supporting the Kingdom’s development efforts.

Prime Minister Kishida said the two countries agreed to launch bilateral cybersecurity consultations, while strengthening security and defence cooperation, including between the Japan Self-Defence Forces and the Jordan Armed Forces.

The prime minister said he exchanged views with His Majesty on international developments, such as in East Asia and Ukraine, noting that Japan will continue to work closely with Jordan as a partner in safeguarding the international order.

He highlighted Japan’s Free and Open Indo-Pacific initiative, voicing appreciation for the King’s support for maintaining the international order based on the rule of law and ensuring peace, stability, and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region.

His Majesty and the prime minister also witnessed the signing and exchanging of notes between the Jordanian and Japanese governments entailing a 713 million-yen grant (around $5.2 million) to finance the procurement of devices and equipment for the Aqaba-Amman Water Desalination and Conveyance Project, as part of the Social and Economic Development Programme.

Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi, Director of the Office of His Majesty Jafar Hassan, Planning Minister Zeina Toukan, and Jordan’s Ambassador to Japan Lina Annab, as well as a number of senior Japanese officials, attended the talks.