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King calls for proactivity as country tackles challenges


The Jordan Times


AMMAN — His Majesty King Abdullah on Wednesday chaired part of a Cabinet meeting at the Prime Ministry, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.
During the discussion, His Majesty said that "we have to work together to overcome challenges that face our country", stressing that crises increase Jordanians’ "resilience".
The King praised cooperation among Jordanian institutions, underscoring the importance of learning from crises to improve ability of dealing with future challenges.
He stressed that Jordanian efforts at Al Aqsa Mosque/Al Haram Al Sharif will continue by using all available tools.
King Abdullah said that Jordan is closely observing the situation in Jerusalem, stressing that the challenge there is political and not only a matter of security.
As for the Amman Israeli embassy incident, where a diplomat shot and killed two Jordanians, the Monarch reiterated that Jordan would not compromise its people's rights and that Israel is demanded to take legal action to serve justice. He stressed that the case would be followed up on closely.
On economy, King Abdullah said that economic situation in the Kingdom needs time to see results on the ground, noting that most of the economic challenges are accumulative and that there is already a “clear” economic correction programme to achieve the envisioned reforms.
He stressed that “all are requested to act swiftly, without delay or reluctance” to reverse the economic recession the country has seen during the past few years.
His Majesty urged intensified action to address the drop in Jordan’s ranking on the ease of doing business index and facilitate procedures to improve the investment environment.
He highlighed the importance of dealing with investors in a positive manner by concerned employees and officials.
Regarding the upcoming municipal and governorates councils’ elections, the King called for collective action to support the Independent Election Commission, the agency tasked with managing and overseeing elections in Jordan, to ensure that the local polls would achieve their goal of increasing citizens’ role in policymaking regarding development priorities in their areas.
For his part, Prime Minister Hani Mulki said that the government has accomplished several reforms and will continue this effort in line with His Majesty’s directives.
Mulki highlighted the government’s efforts to realise political, economic, social and administrative reform, as well as implementing the recommendations of the Royal Committee for Developing Judiciary and Enhancing the Rule of Law.
During the meeting, ministers took turn in presentations outlining the achievements of their ministries and progress in ongoing plans.
For his part, Planning Minister Imad Fakhoury summed up the government’s efforts to follow up on the Economic Growth Stimulation Plan, the Jordan Response Plan (JRP) to the Syrian refugee crisis and the international commitmentts to support Jordan.
The support that Jordan received has reached 13 per cent of what has been pledged during London and Brussels conferences on supporting Syrian refugee host countries, Fakhoury said, adding that last year only 10 per cent was delivered.
The aid, expected to reach $3 billion by the end of this year, will be directed to priority projects as decided by the Cabinet, the minister said.
Finance Minister Omar Malhas reviewed the financial situation and achievements, noting that the public debt has dropped down to 94.4 per cent of the GDP, and that the debt to GDP ratio should not exceed 95.2 per cent until the end of the year.
For his part, State Minister for Investment Affairs Mohannad Shehadeh outlined his ministry’s measures to cut red tape to attract investments and ease doing business in the country.

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