|King’s east European tour spans economic fortunes
|His Majesty King Abdallah II returned home on Tuesday following a three-day tour of the eastern European countries of Croatia, the Czech Republic and Romania.
His Majesty discussed with Croatian President Stephan Mesic, Czech President Vaslav Cross and Romanian President Ion Iliescu mechanisms to further enhance cooperation between Jordan and these countries, plus the developments in the Middle East region.
His Majesty discussed with all three leaders the future situation of Iraq under the light of current preparations to handover sovereignty to the Iraqi people. He affirmed the necessity that UN should have the major role in drawing Iraq’s future.
The King’s tour in these countries, which have a successful economic experiences similar to that of Jordan—on the path of restructuring the economy, liberalization of trade and openness towards world markets—reaffirmed His Majesty’s keenness to bridge cooperation between the Middle East and eastern European regions in order to exchange expertise and serve joint interests.
The tour presented an opportunity to further cement bilateral relations in the fields of economy, trade, culture, science and tourism.
The meetings also focused on: The turbulent situation in the Middle East and on efforts exerted to revive the peace process and restore security and stability in Iraq, where the King urged for a larger international contribution to solve the region’s issues.
During his visit to Croatia, which ended on Monday, the King held two separate meetings with Croatian Prime Minister, Ivo Sanader, and Parliament President, Vladimir Seks.
During the meeting with the Croatian Premier, the King pointed to the opportunities of promoting cooperation between the two sides, particularly in the tourism, services, educational and energy domains. The two sides also discussed means to enhance cooperation between the Jordan National Petroleum Company (JNPC) and (ENI) Company for Gas and Oil Exploration with a view to explore for oil and gas in Jordan.
For his part, Sanader stressed that the King’s visit to Croatia has a strong impact on promoting cooperation between the two countries, particularly in trade and investment fields. He also hailed His Majesty King Abdallah’s efforts to achieve peace and security in the Middle East, pointing to the role of Jordan’s peacekeeping forces in restoring stability to Balkan countries.
On the other hand, the King discussed with the President of the Croatian Parliament cooperation between the two countries, particularly in the parliamentary and legislative fields. His Majesty pointed to the importance of developing parliamentary ties between the two counties on parliamentary committees’ level.
The King’s next stop was a two-hour visit to the Czech Republic where he held talks with Czech President Vaclav Klaus on bilateral relations in all aspects. His Majesty briefed President Klaus on investment opportunities in Jordan made available by the open market economy policy in the country, which has concluded a number of free trade agreements with several world countries.
Talks also covered the latest political developments in the Middle East where King Abdallah noted Jordan’s unceasing efforts to realize peace in the region and accelerate the handover of power to the Iraqis.
For his part, Czech President expressed his country’s desire to boost relations with Jordan in various fields and affirmed that the King’s visit to Prague would open broad horizons for greater cooperation between the two countries.
Jordan tries to enhance cooperation with the Czech Republic and to that cooperation agreements covering areas of trade, scientific, health, services and investment protection have been concluded with this country.
A delegation from the private sector is expected to visit Prague to discuss potential investment projects between the two countries.
On Tuesday morning, the King discussed with Romanian Prime Minister Adrian Nastasi mechanisms to further develop bilateral relations between the two friendly countries and the latest Middle East developments.
The two sides agreed on increasing economic cooperation between Jordan and Romania, particularly in the field of energy, water and telecommunications; a Jordanian delegation is expected in Romania to discuss energy projects, particularly in electricity distribution.
Separately, during his meeting with Romanian businessmen, His Majesty urged for establishing Jordanian-Romanian Businessmen Council in order to contribute to increasing trade exchange and installing joint investment ventures between the two countries.
Addressing directors of Romanian firms of water, tourism, energy, oil, gas, transportation, among others, His Majesty said, "We in Jordan have remarkable relations between private and public sectors and look forward towards active partnership from the Romanian private sector in such projects." He called on Romanian businessmen to establish partnership with the Jordanian private sector to participate in rebuilding Iraq and to take Jordan as their gate to enter Iraq.
Prior to wrapping up his visit to Romania, His Majesty met with the Romanian economic and private sector representatives, and highlighted the economic and investment opportunities in Jordan.