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>> The Jordan Times


KING DISCUSSES SYRIA, PALESTINE WITH EUROPEAN OFFICIALS

The Jordan Times - June 26, 2013

His Majesty King Abdullah on Tuesday discussed regional issues with Italian Minister for Foreign Affairs Emma Bonino and European Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response Kristalina Georgieva.
While discussing the Syrian conflict and its consequences on the wider region, the King underlined that despite its limited resources, Jordan is shouldering “huge burdens” as a result of the influx of Syrian refugees, according to a Royal Court statement.
His Majesty called on the international community to assist Jordan in coping with the refugee crisis, the statement added.
Reiterating that Jordan supports a transitional political solution to the crisis, the King underlined the importance of ending the suffering of the Syrian people.
During the meeting, His Majesty stressed the significance of the European role in furthering efforts to bring the Palestinians and the Israelis to the negotiating table on the basis of the two-state solution, as it is the only formula to resolve the conflict and achieve security and stability in the region, the statement added.
The peace talks should ultimately lead to the establishment of an independent Palestinian state on Palestinian national soil, the King said, warning against Israel’s unilateral measures in the holy sites of East Jerusalem and the continued settlement activity.
These continuous violations weaken chances of reviving the peace process, the King said.
Both Bonino and Georgieva expressed appreciation for the King’s efforts to achieve peace in the turbulent Middle East and his leadership over the country’s reform process, voicing commitment to coordinating with all European states and international organisations to help Jordan sustain its humanitarian assistance to refugees, the statement said.
Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh also met separately with the officials, and discussed ways to further boost bilateral relations. Talks also centred on regional developments, mainly the situation in Syria and the peace process.
Judeh stressed Jordan’s support for a political solution to the Syrian crisis, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.
With regard to the Middle East peace negotiations, Judeh highlighted Jordan’s efforts, led by King Abdullah, to launch serious and efficient peace talks with a fixed time frame.
In statements to the press following the meeting, Judeh said all parties agree on the importance of ending violence in Syria and the need to arrive at a political solution, implement the decisions of the 2012 Geneva Conference on Syria and form a transitional government.
Judeh expressed his appreciation of the role the EU and its member states play in supporting Jordan and helping it provide humanitarian assistance to Syrian refugees.
The Italian official expressed her country’s readiness to increase its support to Jordan, to assist the Syrian refugees and the local host communities.
After meeting with the King, Georgieva said an additional funding package of 400 million euros (around $525 million) will include the allocation of 250 million euros in humanitarian aid for Syrian refugees and host communities.
Reading from a European Commission statement, Georgieva added that the additional package brings the total EU funding for this crisis to almost 1.25 billion euros.
Both European officials also visited the Zaatari Refugee Camp on Tuesday, meeting with humanitarian organisations delivering EU aid to refugees and spoke to some of the beneficiaries.
“…The ever-growing number of Syrian refugees flocking into Jordan and to the other neighbouring countries is unsustainable, and the only solution is a political solution which will end this tragic conflict and the human suffering,” the statement quoted Georgieva as saying.
The additional funding package was first announced by José Manuel Barroso, president of the European Commission, on June 6.
The statement quoted Bonino as saying that Italy will set up a health centre for Syrian refugees in Jordan, adding that the European Commission would fund the facility’s management.
“The commission and the Italian government will be appealing for matching funds from other donors and will follow up this initiative through a joint assessment mission with European Union Civil Protection experts,” said the statement.
The UN estimates that 6.8 million people are affected by the ongoing violence in Syria, with approximately 4.25 million internally displaced.





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