Jordan deserves continued political, financial support — Irish ambassador

Irish Ambassador to Jordan Vincent O’Neill. (Photo: Petra)
AMMAN — Irish Ambassador to Jordan Vincent O’Neill on Wednesday said that Jordan deserves continued political and financial support for its endeavor to maintain peace and stability in the Middle East, according to the Jordan News Agency, Petra.اضافة اعلان

In an interview with Petra on his country’s national day, O’Neill said Jordanian-Irish relations are strong and the two nations share many commonalities.

He added that the two countries have strong regional and international alliances and recognize the importance of multilateral institutions.

The ambassador stressed that Jordan and Ireland have a commitment to peace and stability within their borders and in their respective regions, and that they have young populations, recognize the value of investing in education, and have a strong culture of entrepreneurship and innovation.

“We both have a reputation for being friendly and welcoming societies,” O’Neill said, adding that Amman and Dublin “share a huge commitment to the cause and rights of the people of Palestine”.

According to the envoy, one of the reasons that encouraged the Irish government to open a new embassy in Jordan is the Kingdom’s key role in safeguarding peace and stability in the Middle East.

In this context, O’Neill underscored his country’s “unshakable commitment to the rights of the Palestinian people and the generosity of Jordan in hosting so many refugees from Syria and other countries in the region”.

Regarding Palestine, the ambassador said: “Ireland has taken a consistently strong stance in international arenas, including through our membership in the United Nations Security Council, calling for greater international attention to the rights of Palestinians, condemning breaches of international law, calling for an end to the illegal annexation of their lands, and for the need for a credible international process that delivers the long promised two-state solution.”

“While global attention is now focused on Ukraine and the countries to which desperate displaced people are seeking refuge, we remember that this week, also, we mark the commencement of the 12th year of the conflict in Syria,” the Irish ambassador said.

O’Neill emphasized that the government and people of Jordan deserve “our continued political and financial support to ensure refugees and vulnerable people can live a life with dignity that has a future they can aspire to”.

This new reality, he added, makes a strong political, economic, security and development relationship between Jordan and its regional and international partners more, and not less, important.

“We are supporting organizations in Jordan that are assisting in the provision of care for, and the integration of, a very considerable number of refugees in the country,” the ambassador indicated.

O’Neill stressed that efforts are under way to expand trade and economic links in ways that are beneficial to both countries, in sectors such as agri-food, ICT, and pharmaceuticals.

He spoke about plans to develop strong academic, research, and exchange partnerships between Irish and Jordanian higher education institutions.

The ambassador noted that the value of merchandise and service trade between Ireland and Jordan has been steadily increasing over the past five years. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, trade volumes increased in 2020. Annual trade between Ireland and Jordan (merchandise and services) amounts to around JD300 million annually.

According to O’Neill, this increase was partially due to the unprecedented demand for medical and pharmaceutical products, but figures indicate that trade in 2021 matched this increase in demand as COVID-19 economic strains subsiding gradually.

The Irish embassy said the envoy, facilitated a number of bilateral agreements between Irish and Jordanian higher education institutions. These agreements will enhance the relationship between the two countries and pave the way for future cooperation between them.

The Jordan Ireland Business Association continues to grow and enhance business and trading links between Ireland, Jordan and other regional trade and business organizations, the ambassador said.

Ireland is a steadfast supporter of UNRWA, O’Neill said, noting that last year, the Irish government gave its largest annual financial contribution to UNRWA. “This is likely to be replicated this year”, he pointed out.

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