Wednesday 27th of January 2021 |
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Safadi, EU official talk coronavirus response, regional issues


The Jordan Times


AMMAN — Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi on Thursday discussed anti-coronavirus cooperation and the economic repercussions of the COVID-19 crisis with European Commissioner for Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Olivér Várhelyi.
Safadi voiced appreciation for the EU’s programmes designed to support the Kingdom to face the pandemic and the provision of a new 200-million euro soft loan, in addition to the 500-million euro soft loan that was previously approved by the union, according to a Foreign Ministry statement.
Talks over the phone covered the EU’s support to the Kingdom’s efforts towards Syrian refugees, as it provides support as part of the Jordanian-European partnership through specialised instruments, including the EU’s Madad Fund, the regional trust fund in response to the Syrian crisis.
The two sides also discussed preparations for the Fourth Brussels Conference on “supporting the future of Syria and the region”, as well as the financial support programmes that the union will provide.
Overall international pledges made during the third Brussels conference reached 8.3 billion euros, two-thirds of which came from the EU.
Safadi and Várhelyi reviewed efforts to bridge the funding gap of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), urging the international community to provide the allocations that the agency needs to continue offering its vital services to refugees according to its international mandate.
Safadi also thanked the EU, UNRWA's largest direct donor, for its participation in the international conference organised by Jordan and Sweden to mobilise financial and political support for the agency.
The two sides also discussed the latest developments regarding the Palestinian cause, notably Israel’s decision to annex Palestinian territories.
Safadi highlighted the importance of the EU’s position rejecting the annexation and in support of the two-state solution, as well as the EU’s “central role” in relaunching serious negotiations to resolve the conflict in accordance with the two-state solution.
Várhelyi reiterated the EU’s support to Jordan in handling its economic challenges, highlighting Amman’s efforts towards establishing regional peace and stability, the statement said.
Stressing Jordan’s “deep partnership” with the European Union, Safadi and Várhelyi emphasised the importance of the partnership in overcoming regional, political, security and economic challenges and enhancing stability.

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