King holds talks with President Macron in Paris

Paris– His Majesty King Abdullah and French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday held talks that covered current regional developments, particularly those related to Jerusalem after the United States recognised the city as Israel’s capital.

At the expanded talks held at the Elysee Palace and attended by senior Jordanian and French officials, the two sides reaffirmed the importance of maintaining coordination and consultations on issues of mutual concern, and advancing economic, military, and security cooperation.

His Majesty thanked France for its economic support to Jordan to enable the Kingdom to implement its development plans and cope with the Syrian refugee burden.

Talks also addressed efforts to reach political solutions to various crises in the region as well as regional and international efforts to fight terrorism within a holistic strategy.

Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi and Jordan’s Ambassador to France Makram M. Queisi attended the meeting from the Jordanian side, while Chief of the Military Staff of the President of the Republic Admiral Bernard Rogel and France’s Ambassador in Amman David Bertolotti were present on the French side.

In joint remarks to the press after the talks, His Majesty expressed appreciation for President Macron’s constructive role in the Middle East, stressing Jordan’s keenness to work with France in pursuit of regional and global security and stability.

The King said President Macron, through his leading role in the region, is bringing hope and common sense in the face of the various challenges, while maintaining close coordination with Jordan.

The partnership between Jordan and France, His Majesty continued, is moving in a strong direction, and the two countries are proud of their advanced military and security relations.

The King also thanked France for supporting Jordan as it takes on economic challenges, noting the two countries’ focus on cultural exchange as well.

His Majesty told the press that the discussions with President Macron focused on how to build a strong relationship between France and Jordan and how to deal with the latest pressing developments.

“Sir, you mentioned that the Palestinian cause remains the region’s most vital issue, and, as we are all aware, Jerusalem is key to resolving the challenges that we have ahead,” the King said.

“In this respect, obviously, the United States’ unilateral decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is against from our point of view international law; but we both agreed that there is no alternative to the two-state solution and that there is no solution without Jerusalem,” His Majesty affirmed.

“The issue of Jerusalem must be settled within the framework of a final status solution and a just peace agreement between the Palestinians and the Israelis, based on the two-state solution,” the King stressed.

“This must allow Palestinians to establish their independent state, with East Jerusalem as the capital, living side by side with Israel,” His Majesty continued.

“Muslims’ and Christians’ rights to Jerusalem cannot be denied,” the King asserted.

Muslims and Christians have a shared history, and “this was clearly voiced by the Christian and Muslim leaders whom I met in Jordan two days ago, and also during my meeting earlier this morning with His Holiness Pope Francis”, His Majesty said.

“As the Custodian of Islamic and Christian holy sites in the city, Jordan is truly committed to its religious and historical responsibilities towards Al Aqsa Mosque/Al Haram Al Sharif,” the King affirmed.

“And at this point, we all need to make sure that we work together,” His Majesty added, praising the ideas put forth by President Macron in order to reach a permanent solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

“We are ready to stand by the Palestinian people and President Abbas in support of their efforts with the international community to achieve peace,” the King noted.

His Majesty said talks with President Macron also covered the developments in Syria, where the fight against terrorist groups had been the priority, but now, after substantial progress on the ground, the next stage calls for further efforts to build on the Astana talks to reach a political solution that guarantees the stability, unity, and future of Syria.

“On behalf of Jordan, we are definitely going to stand by your side. We look forward to a lot of initiatives coming from France to be able to push us in the right direction,” the King added, voicing hope that these discussions will help make 2018 a better year.

Source: Jordan News Agency