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Meeting with King Abdullah II bin Al Hussein of Jordan and the Prime minister Dr Marouf Suleiman al Bakhit

Amman, Jordan, 06/05/2007  |  press release

Click to enlargeThe President of the Republic of Slovenia, Dr. Janez Drnovšek, today, within his two-day working visit in Aman, met with King Abdullah II bin Al Hussein of Jordan and the Prime minister Dr Marouf Suleiman al Bakhit.

President of the Republic of Slovenia, Dr Drnovšek, and King Abdullah II bin Al Hussein devoted a considerable bit of time to discussing the Middle East peace process and the stabilising role that Jordan plays in the settlement of disputes in its surroundings.

Click to enlargePresident Drnovšek expressed his support to the king of Jordan’s endeavours for peace. At the request of the king, the Slovenia’s President outlined the development of South-Eastern Europe, and particularly the issues related to the future status of Kosovo and the implementation of Antisaari’s plan. The statesmen pointed out that there is a wide range of possibilities for the development of closer bilateral co-operation in all areas. Jordan is a state of ample opportunities, presenting with approximately 6 percent annual economic development rate, and is open to foreign investment and all other forms of economic cooperation. The President of the Republic, Dr. Janez Drnovšek, ensured his hosts that Slovenia, as the EU presiding country, will strive for further close co-operation between the EU and Jordan.

Click to enlargeA wish for faster development of bilateral co-operation was also expressed in the discussions held with the Prime Minister, Dr Marouf Suleiman Al-Bakhit, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Abdelelah M. Al-Khatib, and several other members of the government. President of the Republic of Slovenia, Dr Janez Drnovšek, acknowledged the contribution of Jordan government towards seeking a amicable settlement of disputes in the region and expressed his hope for active involvement of all those able to influence stress relieving in this part of the world.

In Jordan, the President of the Republic, Dr Janez Drnovšek, has also answered the questions posed by the journalist of TVS, Karmen W Švegl:

Jordan is the country that is situated between the two most severe conflict areas in the Middle East: the Palestinian-Israeli conflict on one side and Iraq on the other. Have you been discussing with the King how to solve these problems?

Dr Janez Drnovšek: Jordan is indeed the only stable and also the most reliable country in the region, and we agreed with the King that in the same way as not long ago Slovenia had to cope with its rather difficult neighbourhood, so has Jordan today. It does not really seem that anything may change soon, so we were discussing all these situations in the area. About the Palestinian, where unfortunately there is no improvement, and at present it seems that none can be expected either. On the other side, a very complicated - and associated with that – is the situation in Lebanon, and then Iraq, and we also discussed the situation in Iran. Thus, the most pressing global issues are concentrated in this region. In my opinion, the superpowers, and particularly the U.S.A., but also the European Union, should do much more to solve this situation. I believe that they do far too little to resolve the Palestinian problem, while they themselves may create an additional crisis. So, instead of resolving the previous ones, then they ad a new one.

How , in your opinion, Iraqi problem could be solved?

Dr Janez Drnovšek: Iraq is very difficult to disentangle since everything is so far away. I have the feeling that presently all are rather pessimistic about Iraq issue. At least on short-term basis. This killing should be put to an end. Perhaps religious leaders could do more in this respect by using their influence to see that the disparity – at least as far as religion is concerned – would not be aggravated any further. On the other hand, adding the Iranian crisis to the existing Iraqi one will not alleviate the situation. On the contrary, should there be a combat in Iran, i.e. a war in Iran, then the whole region would be again additionally “on fire”. It seems that perhaps the international community is insufficiently aware of all the risks associated with that. Probably, this would entail further flare-up of terrorism caused by such an extended combat. Nevertheless, despite of that it seems that there are some who wish to aggravate rather than resolve the situation.

What about Iran?

Dr Janez Drnovšek: I believe that it is still possible to suspend the Iranian story and to find a common solution for both the Iranian and the Iraqi question. It would, therefore, be necessary to ask that Iran participate, and become a factor of stability and not, as it is now, a factor of instability. This would, of course, be possible within the framework of searching for a constructive solution for the Iranian problem, which I think is quite possible, as long as there is the will. But I am afraid that the will, here, is lacking. The situation is burdened not only with political interests but also with the interests of oil lobbies, in particular those in the largest country, and further, with the interests of other lobbies. Unfortunately, politics follows this path, and so there is no solution in sight. In the meantime, the interests of these nations are absolutely disregarded, and as long as this is the case in world politics, we may not expect any serous improvement… on the contrary.

What is the situation of Jordan amidst all these conflicts?

Dr Janez Drnovšek: Jordan, of course, has its own problems. It has already welcomed a great number of refugees, first Palestinians and now Iraqis; this is a huge burden for a relatively small country to cope with. The tragedy is the fact that the Iraqi people cannot live at home any more, and that everyone is seeking a way out. They either go to Syria or to Jordan, and that creates problems. A country like Jordan thus now faces problems that have been generated by others, and the situation in Iraq is nothing but a series of errors, deceptions and missteps. The situation now is so very bad that it is really very difficult to find any solution to it, and it is evident that everyone is trying to save at least themselves; unfortunately, I do not see a magic wand with which to resolve this whole mess.
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