AMMONNEWS -By Mohammad Mizher- **British Ambassador:£70m to support projects and programmes in Jordan.
**18 Chevening scholarships to Jordanians in 2015.
**I have the utmost respect for His Majesty’s consistent and inspiring vision of greater political inclusion and the economic ideas.
**In 2014, 73,500 British tourists visited Jordan.
*Are there any aids that the UK will provide to Jordan and what’s the kind of it and what it costs?
Jordan lives in a tough neighbourhood. The UK understands that, and we are constantly investing in Jordan’s resilience and prosperity with practical support as we face the regional challenges together. Since the start of the Syria crisis, we have supported projects and programmes worth over £220m, and this year alone we will spend a further £70m.
This makes us one of Jordan’s top three international donors in respect of Aid.
We understand too that it is Jordanian communities that are bearing the brunt of graciously hosting so many Syrian and other refugees. So we are directing much of our support to Jordanians – support to schools and essential infrastructure such as the water and sanitation systems. For example, a few weeks ago I visited Mafraq, where the UK in partnership with the World Bank has just donated 8 rubbish compactors, 550 new bins and other rubbish collection machines, to aid the municipality in providing rubbish collection for the increased population.
*What is the first impression about Jordan to you ?
I first came to Jordan in 1983 and have had the privilege of returning many times since for short visits. But I have never had the great pleasure of living here. I continue to be overwhelmed by how friendly Jordanians are. Every where I have been I have been touched by the openness and warm welcome I have received. This is a beautiful and special country, where I’m looking forward to spending the next few years.
*Have you eaten Mansaf what do you think about it?
Yes, many times. It’s delicious, particularly when one has time to relax and enjoy it afterwards. I wonder if your readers think there would be a market for ‘mansaf-lite’ or ‘diet mansaf’? I am also a fan of other Jordanian specialties, like Knefeh.
*)What is your view about political scene in Jordan ?
All countries are constantly evolving, politically. In the UK, we are still changing, despite having the oldest democracy in the world. Last week we celebrated the 800th anniversary of our Magna Carta, which provided many of our founding rights and freedoms. The reason we have to keep changing is that no system is ever perfect and always needs to be updated and refined, if only to keep up with changes in modern life. This is why I have the utmost respect for His Majesty’s consistent and inspiring vision of greater political inclusion and the economic ideas that are set out in the Vision 2025. A long term vision of this kind seems to be essential amid so much regional uncertainty. The UK and Jordan’s partnership is growing every day and I am committed to ensuring the UK supports this vision in all the ways we can.
*What the main thing that took your attention about traditional in Jordan?
Jordan has a unique history and culture. I’ve been struck by how, rightly, proud Jordanians are of their traditions. I am privileged to have the opportunity to take the historic partnership that the UK and Jordan have enjoyed to new levels during my time as ambassador here, a partnership between both our governments and our peoples.
*How many Jordanian students that are studying at the UK universities and the British who are studying at Jordanian universities?
Many Jordanian students are studying in the UK. In 2014 alone, we issued 6,000 student visas to Jordanian students to study in the UK. In addition to this, in 2015 we'll be making awards of 18 Chevening scholarships to Jordanians. These awards are for the study of Master's courses in the UK, fully funded by the British government.
*What it the number of the British tourist who are visiting Jordan yearly?
In 2014, 73,500 British tourists visited Jordan to enjoy your historic and unique sites. I want to see that number go up, though, and I see it as part of my job to present Jordan to the UK, as well as of course the UK to Jordan. We know each other well, but there is always much more we can do, especially in respect of links between our young people.
Encouraging British tourists to come to Jordan, and ensuring that Jordanians are issued quickly and efficiently with visas to visit the UK is an essential aspect of our growing partnership and key to building the prosperity of our two nations.
*What are the projects that the UK are financing in Jordan?
As I mentioned before, since the start of the Syria crisis, the UK has funded projects worth £220m in Jordan, and this year alone we’ll be spending another £70m here. The projects we support range from supporting the development of the private sector – our work has leveraged over $460 million in investments into Jordan’s private sector and helped more than 5000 Jordanians find private sector jobs – to supporting Jordanian communities that are graciously hosting Syrian refugee communities. Our work in these communities includes support to schools, hospitals and key infrastructure such as waste management and water provision. We see our support to all these areas as building the resilience of our key partner, Jordan, as it faces up to the challenges of the region and we’ll continue to stand together with you over the long term.
*You said when you appointed Ambassador to Jordan It is an enormous honour to lead the UK’s work in Jordan as we strive together, for the security of our two countries What are Your procedures in this topic ?
Our two countries’ prosperity and resilience in the face of regional challenges are intimately linked together. This is why we have such an important and growing partnership. I see it as my mission to develop this partnership on all levels – security, trade, tourism, visas, students studying in the UK, humanitarian aid as well as support for His Majesty the King’s vision of political and economic reform. My procedure is that every morning when I wake up I think: “how can I take our partnership to a new level? How can I ensure in the most practical way that Jordan’s security is the UK’s security?”