European Commission VP – Jordan is anchor of stability in turbulent

Josep Borrell
European Commission Vice-President, Josep Borrell. (Photo: Petra)
AMMAN — High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, European Commission Vice-President, Josep Borrell has affirmed that Jordan is an important partner for the EU and an anchor of stability in a turbulent..

اضافة اعلان
In an interview with Jordan News Agency (Petra) on the sidelines of the second Baghdad Conference for Cooperation and Partnership, which was held in the Dead Sea region on Tuesday, Borrell stated "our ties go beyond our close bilateral partnership and cooperation, Jordan is for the EU an important and reliable partner with whom we do not only engage a lot in bilateral relations. Jordan is a partner of choice when dealing with wider regional issues."

Speaking about the second Baghdad Conference, he indicated that the first Baghdad Conference took place in the Iraqi capital and marked the return of Iraq to the international stage as an important and active regional player, noting that holding the second conference in the neighboring Jordan underlines the role and responsible engagement of Jordan for the regional stability and security.

"The topics discussed here are relevant not only for Iraq but for the entire region: the country’s stability, its development and prosperity, as well as regional cooperation, fight against terrorism, increasing food and energy security or working on the issue of water management," he pointed out, stressing that Jordan plays an active and crucial role in all of them.

On the partnership between the EU and Jordan, he said "In June, we held our 14th EU-Jordan Association Council in Amman for the first time outside of Brussels, which is an important sign. But beyond the symbolism of this, we also defined our new Partnership Priorities, making Jordan a key country in our Southern Neighborhood, working on a new and ambitious strategic and forward-looking partnership with the EU."

"Before the Russian aggression against Ukraine, our key priorities with Jordan were strengthening cooperation on regional stability and security; promoting sustainable economic growth, and strengthening good governance and respect for human rights. This still holds, now, we also focus on working for upholding the rules-based system and dealing with the hugely damaging consequences of Putin’s war on food and energy security in Jordan, the entire Middle East, and the whole world," the envoy further stated.

Besides the Partnership Priorities, Borrell emphasized that the cornerstone of the EU partnership with Jordan remains democratic principles, fundamental freedoms, and human rights, adding that the EU and the Kingdom work closely on regional integration, renewable energy development, as well as energy efficiency and sustainable management of water resources in Jordan.

The high representative also indicated that the Russian-Ukrainian war caused the most serious case of food insecurity in decades, adding "under the Team Europe Response to Global Food Insecurity, the EU is supporting UN-led efforts to address the current situation and working with our partners to promote sustainable alternative solutions in the medium and longer term."

The EU is also supporting the most vulnerable countries in the region with EUR 225 million under the "Food and Resilience Facility" from which EUR 25 Million were designated for Jordan, he highlighted, noting that "the European Investment Bank signed, only 2 days ago, the financing agreement for a 200 MEUR loan for the Aqaba-Amman Water Desalination and Conveyance Project (an EU Flagship and one of top JO Government’s investment priorities) and a 60 MEUR credit line to Jordan Kuwait Bank to strengthen financing to local SMEs and businesses. These are concrete examples of our joint efforts to support the efforts of Jordan to address current challenges, mitigate climate change and enhance private sector development and job creation."

Regarding Jordan's reform agenda, Borrell stated "we closely follow the ongoing efforts to implement a wide range of reforms and Jordan has our strong support for his reform process, especially the modernization of the political system and the economic reforms, confirming that the EU is ready to assist in areas where our assistance can be useful and is requested.

The investment platform was finally launched during the meetings of the Jordan-European Partnership Council, the envoy confirmed, indicating that the EU-Jordan Investment Platform aims to boost investment in the country and it is an important mechanism to enhance coordination between the Jordanian government, European Financial Institutions, the EU and local and international stakeholders.

Continuing, he said that the platform "closes the gap between Jordanian priority investment projects and the mobilization of necessary funding for effective implementation. It will be able to leverage up to EUR 2.5 billion of investments, which would be a significant boost for the Jordanian economy."

Responding to a question on Jordan's humanitarian role in receiving refugees, the envoy stated "We are fully aware and commend Jordan’s generosity and solidarity in hosting a large number of, inter alia Syrian and Palestinian, refugees. We are also aware of the challenges this poses for Jordanian society and the economy. That is why the EU is committed to continue supporting Jordan in hosting refugees."

"Let me just recall that the EU and its Member States are the largest donor – both for the Syrian refugees and for the host communities in the neighboring countries of Syria, including Jordan. Over the last decade we contributed EUR 25 billion over all," he said, adding "the EU organizes every year the Brussels conference on the future of Syria in order to raise the necessary funds, and make the international community not forget about the plight of the Syrian people and the generosity of the host countries such as Jordan. Next year, we are preparing the seventh edition of this fundraising conference in Brussels."

Speaking on the Palestinian issue, he stated "we will work with the new Israeli government on bilateral cooperation and on regional issues, focusing on moving forward the peace process between the Israelis and the Palestinians," stressing that the EU is ready to support the resumption of a meaningful peace process towards a two-State solution, on the basis of two states - Israel and Palestine - living side by side in peace and security and in good relations with their neighbors. For this to happen, direct negotiations should be resumed.

"The ongoing major upsurge in violence only confirms the urgent need to restart the meaningful political process and give people a perspective and a genuine hope for a better future. But this is something for the parties involved to realize and launch. We cannot force them, we can only encourage them and this is what we continue doing," he noted.



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