King Abdullah II of Jordan (simultaneous translation):
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I wish you a warm welcome, Mr President and the members of the Russian delegation. We welcome you to our country on this, your first visit.
Our two countries are developing excellent relations and we hope for fruitful development of our cooperation with Russia.
The President and I discussed many bilateral issues during our meeting, especially economic issues. I thanked President Putin for Russia’s participation in our Forum of the Future in 2006, and for its scientific and technical cooperation with the King Abdullah II Design and Development Bureau.
A number of important agreements have been concluded during the President’s visit. They include agreements on facilitating protection of investments and on establishing a joint business cooperation council between the chambers of commerce and industry in Moscow and Amman. This will help strengthen relations between the private sectors in Jordan and Russia.
We also discussed regional and global security issues. Here in Jordan, we place great value on Russia’s contribution to ensuring security in the Middle East. Today we are witnesses to a unique opportunity to renew efforts to achieve a comprehensive peace settlement in the region. As a member of the ‘Quartet’ [of mediators in a Middle East peace settlement], Russia has an important part to play. I spoke to the President of the importance we place on resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict – the key regional conflict – and on how important it is that the ‘Quartet’ support the peace initiatives of the Arab countries. The President and I agreed that negotiations on creating an independent and viable Palestinian state should be given new impetus.
We expressed our deep concerns over the situation in the occupied Arab territories and the unilateral action taken with regard to Muslim holy sites. We also expressed our deep concerns with regard to Iraq and we reaffirmed our common commitment to ensuring unity, stability and security in Iraq.
We discussed the international tensions over Iran’s nuclear programme and we consider that diplomatic efforts to resolve this issue must continue. Russia and Jordan likewise agree on the need to prevent the proliferation of nuclear and other types of weapons and to achieve the goal of a Middle East without weapons of mass destruction.
I set forth our new initiative to transform and accelerate economic growth in countries with medium or low revenues. The Group of Eleven is a group of countries whose economies encounter a number of problems that can only be resolved with the help of the developed countries. The Group of Eleven will meet during the World Economic Forum in Jordan in May. We would like to create an institutional framework for cooperation with the G8, and we hope that Russia will support us in this initiative.
President Putin, thank you very much for visiting Jordan and thank you for the productive discussions we have had. We sincerely value our partnership with Russia. We also value greatly your personal courage and leadership and we are hopeful that our ties will continue to strengthen.
Thank you very much.
President Vladimir Putin:
Your Majesty, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Today’s talks continue the fine tradition of summit meetings between partners from Russia and Jordan.
This visit was all the more meaningful for me as it is my first time in Jordan as a guest of the King of Jordan. I would sincerely like to thank His Majesty for his hospitality. Jordan’s national poet, Arrar, called this country “a home where no one feels as if they are in a foreign land”. Today, we can see that this is indeed the case. Despite the brief nature of this visit, we have seen for ourselves how true these words are.
Pilgrims, scholars and travellers from throughout the world have been coming to Jordan for decades now. The holy places of Jordan are open to all, no matter what their faith or nationality. Christians also have deep reverence for these places. I would like to take this opportunity to thank His Majesty for the decision to give Russia a plot of land on the banks of the River Jordan.
Our talks with His Majesty took place in a friendly and constructive spirit. We analysed in detail the state of relations between our countries and outlined specific steps to develop them. In particular, we have adopted a Joint Declaration on deepening the friendship and cooperation between Russia and Jordan.
Furthermore, agreements have been signed on encouraging and providing mutual protection for investment, and on creating a Russian-Jordanian business council.
These agreements are all part of the foundation we need to develop active cooperation between our countries’ business communities.
The agreements signed today on the possibility of organising assembly production of Russian motor vehicles and helicopters testify to the considerable potential our business communities have for developing a new level of partnership.
I note too that our humanitarian ties have also been developing rapidly of late, and I am pleased to inform you that the Russian Scientific and Cultural Centre in Amman will begin its work again this year.
As my visit to the Middle East comes to a close, I would like to say a few words about my impressions from visiting this region, which is strategically important for Russia.
The meetings and talks in Riyadh, Doha and Amman confirm that Russian-Arab business cooperation has immense potential. Successful economic development in our countries opens up broad new opportunities, and we intend making full use of them.
The big Russian companies are already working more actively on the Middle Eastern market, and we also note the growing interest our Arab partners have for the Russian market. I note too that the Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry has given a considerable boost to this mutually beneficial business cooperation. The Russian-Arab Business Council was established here three years ago on the initiative of the chamber’s chairman, Mr Primakov, and it is working successfully. Now it is very important to make all-round efforts to build on this positive economic cooperation with the Arab world.
Russian-Arab political cooperation is also becoming more concrete and multifaceted. It takes in practically all the key aspects of issues in the Middle East and North Africa, the Persian Gulf region and the Arab and Muslim world in general. The meetings with the leaders of Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Jordan have confirmed the common views we share on the complex processes underway in these parts of the world.
Regarding Russia’s priorities in the Middle East, they are focused on helping to achieve peace, stability and security in this region, and facilitating the search for solutions that are in the genuine interests of all the peoples of the region.
At the same time, we are very much aware that we can achieve these goals only if the Middle East countries themselves unite their efforts, and, of course, if the other members of the international community, international and regional organisations, also provide their balanced and tactful participation.
We think that Russia’s initiative to hold a broad-based international conference on the Middle East remains a timely and useful proposal. We made this proposal two years ago and we know that support for it is growing. Of course, we would need to prepare very thoroughly for a forum of this kind that seeks to provide collective solutions for a Middle East peace settlement, and the agenda of such a conference would need to encompass all areas of the settlement process – the Palestinian, Syrian, and Lebanese tracks.
In our talks with the leaders of Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Jordan, we paid particular attention to cooperation in the fight against international terrorism. We expressed the common view that this threat has no ethnic or religious identity. All healthy forces in the world should work together to counter this threat.
This visit to the Middle East has not only opened new horizons for our multifaceted cooperation with the Arab world, but has also been very useful in strengthening mutual understanding and consolidating common approaches to key issues in both bilateral and international relations.
I am very grateful to His Majesty for the spirit of understanding, friendship and warmth that prevailed at our talks and meetings.
Thank you very much.