Jordanian-Spanish ties solid, historical — Lucas

Spanish Ambassador Miguel de Lucas. (Photo: Petra)
Spanish Ambassador Miguel de Lucas. (Photo: Petra)
AMMAN — Spanish Ambassador Miguel de Lucas described his country’s ties with Jordan as “historical and solid”, and backed by the close relations of the two countries’ royal families, according to the Jordan News Agency, Petra.اضافة اعلان

In an interview with Petra on Tuesday, on the eve of the National Day of Spain, which falls on October 12, Lucas said that Jordan and Spain see eye-to-eye on all regional and global political issues.

He pointed to the expansion of ties in recent years into fields such as defense and security, development aid, and cultural cooperation thanks to a consistent exchange of visits.

A year ago, he said, a new phase of Jordanian-Spanish cooperation started after the signing of the first partnership agreement, which lays out the basics, priorities, collaborations, resources, and tools to implement Spanish-Jordanian cooperation programs for the 2022–2024 period.

Priorities stated in the partnership agreement help maintain programs and sectors determined in an action plan put in place in recent years, which is concerned with structural reform in social protection, health, water, and sewage sectors, he maintained.

From 2017–2021, development aid offered by the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation totaled 26 million euros, in addition to another equal contribution from the Spanish General State Budget and the European Union’s funds, the envoy noted.

He emphasized that Jordan and Spain agree on the need to fight extremism affecting coexistence in societies, describing terrorism as “one of the most brutal forms of extremism.” He called for focusing on education to spread dialogue and moderate values, which, in turn, help prevent the spread of terrorism.

Going over economic cooperation, he said Spain’s imports from Jordan between January and July this year amounted to $62 million, up 74 percent compared with the same period of 2021. Exports to Jordan totaled $233 million, a 34 percent increase.

Spanish imports from Jordan, he explained, were mainly fertilizers, non-organic chemicals, and aluminum. Exports to Jordan included ceramics, tiles, panels, sheep, goats, oils, perfumes, seeds, and electrical appliances, noting that trade ties are growing at a “good pace.”

The envoy said the number of Spanish tourists visiting Jordan in 2021 reached 7,000, down 82 percent from the 41,800 recorded in 2019. But in the first six months of this year, Jordan welcomed 13,000 Spanish tourists, which is less than the pre-pandemic figures, he said.

“Our goal is to reach, and even exceed the pre-pandemic numbers,” he said.

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