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No Country Is Immune to Terrorism, Said King Abdullah of Jordan

Autor: Marina Constantinoiu 19 Dec 2005 - 00:00
No Country Is Immune to Terrorism, Said King Abdullah of Jordan

Romanian President Traian Basescu is starting today a two-day visit to Jordan, a country of strategic importance for the US policy in the Middle East.

Two months ago, Romanian foreign minister, Mihai Razvan Ungureanu, paid a short visit to Amman, given the Ramadan was just beginning. Upon his return to Bucharest, Ungureanu stated that Romania wants to act as an "honest broker" in the Middle East.

Romania clearly shows a new openness in its policy towards the Middle East, and Jordan, as an important player in the region, must be taken into account. This need came to the fore ever so clearer during the crisis of the Romanian journalists taken hostage in Iraq, sthis spring, edit. notet when traditional good relations Romania enjoyed with the Arab countries were reactivated, particularly those among intelligence services.

Bucharest decided to play its traditional good relations with the Arab world as its political comparative advantage that it will bring to the table of the European Union member states, once it would become a member of the EU. Ungureanu stated at the time: "Romania is well liked by the Arab nations and may offer its expertise in the region which other states do not have."

Basescu will meet today and tomorrow the leader of a state that had the wisdom to make peace with Israel and which helped in various ways the international coalition fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Romania is accused, as Jordan is, for allowing landing on its territory the CIA operated planes that transported suspected terrorists captured in Iraq or Afghanistan; also, its intelligence services are rumored to work with CIA better than the famous Israeli Mossad is.

Hence, it is most likely that such issues will be addressed by the delegations meeting in Amman, most of all since they all must have been on the table after the recent visit US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice paid to Bucharest.

Therefore, Jurnalul National asked His Majesty, King Abdullah II of Jordan, to give his views on the visit of Romania’s president to Amman, and also on the terrorism all democratic states declared war against.

Jurnalul National: Your Majesty, our President, Traian Basescu, pays his first official visit to your country. Two months ago, our Minister of Foreign Affairs paid an important visit to Jordan. It""s a nice surprise, to see that our bilateral relations are again on the right way. What are your expectations from this meeting with our President?

His Majesty, King Abdullah II: This visit coincides with the fortieth anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between our two nations. We have always enjoyed very strong relations with Romania, and I hope to discuss means of further enhancing bilateral cooperation with President Basescu in all fields -- political, economic and social. I had also met with Foreign Minister Ungureanu a few months back, and we discussed enhancing ties as well as the situation in the region. We have already signed a number of bilateral agreements with Romania in the areas of trade, economic, culture and scientific cooperation, transport, avoidance of double taxation, as well as investment promotion, and we hope to continue such cooperation between our two countries. Romania has always been supportive of peace efforts in the region, and the president and I will discuss the Israeli-Palestinian situation, as well as the ongoing turmoil in Iraq and how to alleviate it.

Jurnalul National: Both our countries are involved in the global war against terrorism. Jordan paid a painful price for its involvement in this war sover 50 people died in the attacks of November 9, this year, against three luxury hotels in Amman, edit. notet. Should Romania fear the retaliation of terrorists for the same reasons? What is your advice for our country, taking in account your wide expertise in this field?

His Majesty, King Abdullah II: Terrorists are indiscriminate in their attacks, and no country is immune to terrorism. That is why Jordan has always encouraged a coordinated international response and ever-greater international cooperation in order to deal with terrorism. These extremists are what we call takfiris soutside the accepted norms of religion, edit. notet. They believe that they have the right to kill anyone who does not adhere to their beliefs. They are basically waging a fight against traditional Islam, which they want to hijack. Initially, they sought to create a conflict between East and West, to create a so-called clash of civilizations, so they hit Western targets.

Their objectives are very clear to the majority of Muslims, and it is evident that a line must be drawn. People of other faiths are not the only victims of their terror. They also have murdered Muslims in Jordan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Indonesia, and elsewhere. People of every faith have been the victims of terrorism. So, all of us are paying the price, whether we are Muslim, Christian or any faith that does not adhere to their beliefs. That is why we have worked to confront this by releasing the Amman Message which elucidates the true values and principles of Islam, which rejects indiscriminate violence and intimidation. We also hosted in Amman earlier this year the International Islamic Conference which gathered more than 180 Muslim scholars to end abuses of our faith. That is what we are doing locally.

Jurnalul National: Which would be then the actions to take globally?

His Majesty, King Abdullah II: Globally, we work closely with friends and allies in the international community to combat terrorism. Romania likewise is party to a number of conventions and has been an active member in the international war against terror through its participation in the 1540 Committee, which helps prevent the worst-case security scenario of weapons of mass destruction falling into terrorists"" hands, and in the 1267 Committee concerning sanctions against Al-Qaeda and the Taliban. We must all confront this problem together whether we are Muslims or Christians or belong to any other faith. We must not be intimidated by a minority that aims to undermine the majority. Courage and unity are our most powerful weapons against terrorism.

Jurnalul National: What are the chances for the cooperation in the economic field between our two countries to develop in the near future?

His Majesty, King Abdullah II: I believe the chances are high that there will be a great deal of further cooperation between our two nations in the economic sphere. Also, we are part of the WTO, as is Romania, and we have a free trade agreement with the US.

Economic growth, as a result of reforms in Jordan over the past five years, has been staggering. Economically Jordan is taking very long strides and all these developments open doors for Romanians to invest in Jordan and increase trade. Last year, the president of the Romanian Senate headed a delegation of a number of senators and businessmen who came to Jordan with the aim of strengthening bilateral relations, especially in the fields of policy and economics, and of catalyzing investments in Jordan. I hope this will continue in the future.

A Brief Biography

King Abdullah II of Jordan was born on 30 January 1962, in Amman. He has four brothers and six sisters. He studied at the Islamic Collage for Sciences in Amman and then he left to Great Britain to complete his education. He enrolled there at the Eaglebrook School in Surrey. Then he went to the United States, where he enrolled in the Deerfield Academy. In 1980 he was admitted to the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst, Great Britain. In 1984 he studied international politics and world affairs at Oxford University. He also pursued further studies at Georgetown University in Washington D.C. During his military career he advanced to the rank of Gen. Major.

On 10 June 1993, King Abdullah married Ranya al Yasin. Her Majesty Queen Ranya Al Abdullah was born on 31 August 1970 in a Palestinian family residing in Kuwait. The royal couple has four children: Prince Hussein, born on 28 June 1994, Princess Iman, born on 27 September 1996, Princess Salma, born on 26 September 2000, and Prince Hashem, born on 30 January 2005. Ranya of Jordan is the youngest queen in the world, and according to the British magazine Harpers and Queen’s, one of the top five beauties in the world, along Angelina Jolie and Christy Turlington.

Romanian President Basescu will have the honor to meet separately the Queen of Jordan, tomorrow.

Translation by Anca Paduraru
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