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    01-Apr-2019

Challenges facing our peoples, demand that we live up to their aspirations — King

 

The Jordan Times

 

Following is the full text of His Majesty King Abdullah's address at the 30th ordinary session of the Arab Summit, delivered on Sunday in Tunis, Tunisia:
 
"In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful,
 
Prayers and peace be upon our Prophet Mohammad,
 
My brother, President Beji Caid Essebsi,
 
Your Majesties, Highnesses, Excellencies,
 
Your Excellency, Secretary General of the League of Arab States,
 
Peace, God’s mercy and blessings be upon you.
 
It is my pleasure to express my deep appreciation to my brother, President Beji Caid Essebsi and to the Republic of Tunisia for the gracious hospitality, warm welcome, and excellent organisation.
 
My thanks to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, as well, for their great efforts in undertaking the responsibilities of the previous Summit.
 
I also thank His Excellency Secretary General Ahmed Aboul Gheit and the staff of the Arab League for their efforts in service of joint Arab action and their follow up on the decisions and recommendations of previous summits.
 
My brothers,
 
Distinguished guests,
 
We meet today as many difficulties and challenges facing our peoples demand that we live up to their aspirations. They await decisions that fulfil their hopes and affirm our shared destiny and future. Our peoples, especially the youth majority, deserve our action towards a better tomorrow.
 
We have unfortunately been preoccupied by internal national challenges and therefore unable to focus on the shared concerns of our Arab Ummah. This calls for moving from facing challenges separately into the actual implementation of joint Arab action. It is time we regained our compass to lead our societies towards security and prosperity.
 
Though our challenges may vary, we share the same destiny. Here, we must agree that our priorities as an Ummah with shared concerns and challenges are the following:
 
First, the Palestinian cause has been and will always remain the foremost concern for all Arabs. We reaffirm that addressing this cause must be in line with our Arab constants. The Palestinian cause must remain Arabs’ core and primary cause. There can be no security, no stability, and no prosperity in the region without a just and lasting solution to the Palestinian issue that fulfils the aspirations of the Palestinian people toestablish an independent Palestinian state on the 4 June 1967 lines with East Jerusalem as its capital, based on the two-state solution, the Arab Peace Initiative, international law, and relevant UN resolutions.
 
As for the holy city of Jerusalem and the violations against its Islamic and Christian holy sites aimed at changing the city’s history and identity, I reaffirm that Jordan, in accordance with our Hashemite Custodianship over Islamic and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem, will persist in undertaking its historical role to safeguard these holy sites.
 
From this podium, we also reiterate the importance of maintaining support for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) to enable it to continue providing its vital services to millions of Palestinian refugees in the region.
 
Second, we must stress the importance of the positive developments in Iraq, namely the success of the political process and the formation of the government. We in Jordan look forward to working closely with our Iraqi brethren to translate our distinguished bilateral ties into opportunities and programmes on the ground, out of our duty to support our brothers in Iraq to capitalise on their victory against terrorism and continue to build their country so that Iraq may regain its important role in the Arab world.
 
Third, as for Syria, we have underscored from the very beginning of the crisis our unwavering position that there is no alternative to a political solution that safeguards the territorial integrity of Syria and the unity of its people, and guarantees the safe and voluntary return of refugees to their homeland.
 
Jordanians, on behalf of the international community and the region, have welcomed their Syrian brothers and sisters and shared their livelihoodwith them. We will continue to do so until they are safely back in their homeland. We also underscore that supporting countries hosting brotherly refugees and enabling them to continue to undertake this duty is a joint responsibility.
 
As for the occupied Syrian Golan Heights, our position remains that the Golan is occupied Syrian territory, according to international law and UN resolutions.
 
My brothers,
 
Distinguished guests,
 
All our Arab societies have suffered and continue to suffer from the scourge of terrorism. The khawarej of our time, the outlaws of Islam, seek to destroy the social fabric of our communities and distort our true Arab and Islamic identity, as well as our heritage rooted in mercy, tolerance, and respect for the sanctity of human lives.
 
Despite the defeat of Daesh in Iraq and Syria, the danger it poses has not ceased, and we must counter this dark ideology by working within a holistic approach addressing the security, ideological, and development tracks.
 
Your Majesties, Highnesses, Excellencies,
 
Distinguished guests,
 
Experience over the past years has proven that our Arab challenges transcend borders.No countryalone can defend its interests, counter foreign interventions and greed, and prosper without its Arab strategic depth. We are hopeful that this Summit will be a positive turning point to reach united positions and joint visions to counter the challenges we face and capitalise on the opportunities before us, for shared challenges can only be overcome with a shared will.
 
Peace, God’s mercy and blessings be upon you."
 
 

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