Translated by Haifa Ghaith
The President of the Senate, Faisal Al-Fayez, stated that His Majesty King Abdullah II is now leading the comprehensive reform, with its political, economic, and administrative dimensions, to enable Jordan to confront various challenges, especially the economic ones, in order to enhance our political and economic reality and our food security, especially since these issues have become a national priority for His Majesty.
This came during his speech at the monthly seminar held by the Department of Facilities and Cultural Programs in Amman Municipality, titled "Jordan: Great Challenges and the Horizon of the Future," to discuss various challenges facing Jordan related to political, economic, and administrative reform.
Al-Fayez said, "His Majesty has always emphasized that the challenges facing Jordan and the region should not hinder the aspirations of Jordanians for a prosperous Jordan that relies on itself and is capable of confronting political and economic challenges, as well as addressing the problems of poverty and unemployment, which includes improving the various services provided to citizens and eliminating bureaucracy in public administration."
He further stated that His Majesty emphasized the need for the economic reform process to transcend governments, which necessitates the development of economic plans capable of overcoming the current situation in the region. These plans should primarily rely on Jordan's human resources while simultaneously working to improve the investment environment and open new markets for national industries and products. The ultimate goal is to achieve self-sufficiency, improve growth figures, and provide a decent life for citizens.
He added that regarding the desired political reform, constitutional amendments have been made and legislation regulating political work has been approved, reflecting His Majesty's keenness to enhance the democratic process and build the New Jordan, leading to a distinguished stage of political reform. This includes defending the values of freedom, social justice, equality, tolerance, and respect for human rights, as well as consolidating the law and institutions.
He clarified that His Majesty's vision for political reform aims to achieve the Jordanian democratic model, which enables us to reach parliamentary programmatic governments and enhance popular participation, party life, and political engagement, while empowering women and youth. This will make Jordan stronger, more modern, and resilient in its second centenary.
He emphasized the need to move away from regional and provincial divisions, in order to have successful and strong political parties, urging everyone to integrate into political and party work and actively participate in it, while combating financial and administrative corruption.
He stated that the responsibility of promoting democratic culture rests on all of us, in our homes, schools, and universities, through accepting different opinions, rejecting racism and bigotry, and solidifying our loyalty to the nation and allegiance to our Hashemite leadership, represented by His Majesty King Abdullah II.
Regarding the challenges facing Jordan, Al-Fayez mentioned that since its establishment, Jordan has faced various difficulties, emerging stronger and more cohesive from them. These challenges include building the Jordanian state, shaping the Jordanian national identity, and addressing the challenge of Palestinian refugees and displacement. Additionally, in the 1950s and 1960s, Jordan faced the challenges of communist, Nasserist, and leftist influences. Later, there were the Gulf War and the second Gulf War.
He highlighted that since His Majesty King Abdullah II assumed his constitutional powers, Jordan has faced numerous internal and external challenges that cannot be ignored. These challenges include the global economic crisis in 2008 and the current challenges related to high debt, reduced aid and grants, increased unemployment and poverty. Additionally, Jordan has faced the repercussions of the occupation of Iraq, the Arab Spring in 2011, the disruption of Egyptian gas and Iraqi oil, civil wars in several Arab countries, the spread of terrorism and extremism, the challenge of drug proliferation, the COVID-19 pandemic and its aftermath, as well as the Russian-Ukrainian war and its impact on food security and energy prices.
He pointed out that due to its geopolitical location, Jordan is currently facing other challenges, such as the security and political situations in the region. The most prominent challenge is finding a just and comprehensive solution to the Palestinian issue, particularly with the rise of right-wing extremism in Israel and its control over the government. There are also attempts by some to seek settlements for the Palestinian issue at the expense of Jordan and its principles, as well as the principles of the Palestinian people.
He stated that confronting the economic challenges of the Arab nation is a pivotal issue that cannot be left to circumstances. Therefore, it is essential to establish a comprehensive Arab vision to address this challenge and create joint Arab cooperation to build diverse economic and investment partnerships. He emphasized that no Arab country can overcome these challenges alone.
He also mentioned that he has repeatedly called for the necessity of holding an Arab economic summit parallel to the political summit, involving businessmen and representatives from various economic and financial sectors. The purpose would be to crystallize a project for an Arab economic union, separate from political tensions. Such a union would enable the Arab nation to become a political and economic force while achieving the desired development.
Regarding Jordan's stance on the Palestinian issue, Al-Fayez affirmed that Jordan, under the leadership of His Majesty, has spared no effort in supporting the Palestinian cause. He emphasized that His Majesty utilizes all his political efforts and international presence to support the Palestinian issue.
During the seminar, he pointed out that Jordan's policy is based on a set of constants, primarily protecting our interests and defending the issues of our nation. From this standpoint, Jordan, under the leadership of His Majesty King Abdullah II, affirms that any proposed solutions or settlement projects for the Palestinian issue that do not safeguard our national constants, tamper with the historical and legal status of Jerusalem, or infringe upon Hashemite guardianship over the Islamic and Christian sanctities in the city, are rejected and deemed null. Jordan will strongly oppose such solutions.
He emphasized that what has happened in Jenin and its camp, and what is happening in the Palestinian territories as a whole, is not accepted to the international community. The actions of the extremist Zionist government against the Palestinian people constitute state terrorism and war crimes. The international community, which claims to believe in the right to life and principles of justice and freedom, must forcefully confront the practices of the Israeli occupation army and settler groups and put an end to the recklessness of the right-wing extremist Israeli government.
Al-Fayez called for the prompt formation of an Arab parliamentary committee that would engage with international parliaments and global human rights organizations to expose these barbaric and brutal practices committed by the extremist Israeli occupation government and settler groups against the Palestinian people.
He also called for an Arab and Islamic stance that supports Jordan's efforts towards resolving the Palestinian issue and enabling the Palestinian people to attain their rights. He emphasized that Jordan alone cannot bear the burden of the Palestinian issue, thus necessitating an Arab and Islamic supportive stance. Heaffirmed that Jordan is capable of protecting its stability and security.