Canada's Governor-General hosts state lunch in honor of King Abdullah II

30-08-2017 03:09 PM

Ammon News - AMMONNEWS - His Majesty King Abdullah II, on Tuesday, attended a state lunch hosted by Canada's Governor-General, David Johnston and his spouse in honor of His Majesty and the accompanying delegation.

The lunch was also attended by Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau and his spouse and a number of senior Canadian officials.

In a speech, King Abdullah said the relationship between Jordan and Canada is based on the bedrock of shared values: tolerance, compassion, mutual respect, the equal dignity of men and women.

Following is the full text of the King's speech:

In the Name of God, the Most Merciful, the Compassionate

Your Excellencies,

Prime Minister Trudeau,

Mesdames et Messieurs,

Thank you all. It is wonderful to be back here in Canada again and to receive really such a warm and kind welcome for myself and my delegation by all our friends here. And on behalf of my delegation, I would like to take this opportunity also to congratulate you, and all Canadians, on the 150th Anniversary of Confederation. It is a celebration not only of Canada’s national identity, but your country’s enduring and high place among the nations of the world.
Governor General, it is a special pleasure and honor for me to have this chance to see you and exchange with you before you come to the end of your term in office, to thank you and Sharon for everything that you’ve accomplished. You mentioned your visit to our country last year and it was so warmly remembered by all of us in my country, because, to Jordanians, you exemplify everything that is great about your nation: your respect for different cultures and religions; your concerns for others; your promotion of peace and prosperity; and especially, your commitment to helping the next generation reach their potential. Thank you very much.
My friends,
Allow me also to offer Jordan’s heartfelt sympathy for the victims of the wildfire emergency in British Columbia, and, truly, not only our admiration, but many in our region for the action of the responders. We’ve seen your firefighters give selfless service, in extreme conditions, to save people on the ground and restore a beautiful land. Can any of us ask if there is a better symbol of the way Canada faces the world's challenges and helps humanity through dangers, in the cause of such a shared future of peace?
We come today together not only as strong friends and allies but also as countries that believe in our responsibilities to the future. Only by taking action and standing up for what is right will we the world we want for ourselves and our children.
And in this spirit that Canada and Jordan have both played notable roles in global peacekeeping, helping to stabilize and secure areas of crisis, even such areas like South Sudan. It is why both our countries are part of the Global Coalition against ISIS, helping rout out this evil force. And it is why we work together in a coordinated, holistic response to the global terrorist threat. And I also believe it is why we are both concerned to help end the central and most divisive crisis in our region, the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, with a just and comprehensive settlement based on the two-state solution.
Jordan and Canada have also closely cooperated in response to huge refugee crisis in my region, as was mentioned. And as you know, my country is a small nation as a major regional host country, truly with a disproportionate share of the burden. But if it wasn’t for the graciousness and the kindness of Canada, and the support you have given us in the difficult challenges, I really would not know where would we be today, so a heartfelt thanks from myself and my delegation and all Jordanians for the way you really moved forward to help us, not only with the refugee crisis but to also look at the way we develop our initiatives and economic partnerships. Today, Jordan is a dynamic centre of innovation for the region, and I hope that, truly, our private sectors will capitalize from the Canada-Jordan Free Trade Agreement, to the opportunities not only for ourselves, but for those that are residing in our country.
Governor General,
Of course, Jordan’s bond with Canada goes even deeper than all these partnerships. It is founded on the bedrock of our shared values: tolerance, compassion, mutual respect, the equal dignity of men and women. And I believe these are the foundation stones on which our peoples can stand together to fight the haters and the dividers, and build a better, safer world for all of us.
So, to you, Governor General, to Prime Minister Trudeau, and the families and everybody who is here, this truly has been a remarkable visit, and we are truly delighted. But truly, from all of us, thank you so much for the generosity, the kindness, not only to our delegation, but to the people of Jordan. Merci."

The General-Governor of Canada delivered a welcoming speech in which he said Canada is keen to develop cooperation with Jordan in various fields.

Following is the full text of Johnston's speech:

His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston

Your Majesty,
Prime Minister and Madame Gregoire Trudeau,
Distinguished members of the Jordanian delegation,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Let me take a moment to acknowledge that we are gathering on the traditional territory of the Algonquin people.

Your Majesty, it is such an honor to welcome you and the entire Jordanian delegation to Rideau Hall, the home of the people of Canada, and to Canada.

Or perhaps I should say welcome back! Because we like to think of this as your second home, and we hope you will see it that way.

This is your third such visit to Canada during your reign, and the second time Sharon and I have had the privilege of hosting you here. But you have been here in your private capacity even more frequently.

We’re so pleased to reciprocate the wonderfully warm welcome that we received from you and the Jordanian people, just a few months ago during our fabulous visit.

One of the places we visited was the Zaatari Refugee Camp. There, almost a 100,000 people, people escaping conflict were making the best of their new home. I saw some kids playing soccer, so I kicked off my shoes and I joined them.

What I learned about Jordan that day is despite the challenge of integrating so many, many refugees – just think of the numbers, a population of roughly 6.5 million people with 1.3 million refugees within the borders, in a country that has been welcoming, managing, dealing with refugees at least from the Second World War on – remarkable, remarkable set of circumstances and rising to the challenge. Jordan is truly an island of hope for those seeking peace.

And despite the hardships, your country is giving kids a chance to play soccer, to have fun, to be safe and get an education.

And I was also pleased to see the fruits of our collaboration in other spheres, how Canada is working with Jordan to deliver education, water, healthcare and so much more.

Good things come from working together in common cause.

Good things also come from encouraging stronger people-to-people ties. And strengthen our collaboration following your visit.

As I’ve told you before, Your Majesty, one of our five daughters, Jenifer, spent some wonderful time volunteering in Jordan some years ago through an information and communications technology development program called NetCorps.

She learned a lot there, which is so fitting considering how vital education is to both our nations.

But of course your visit to Canada helps to further encourage this sort of personal connection between Jordan and Canada. We can only become stronger through such interaction. In defence, security, development, trade, arts, culture In fact, when we were with you on the visit a few months ago we signed an audio-visual agreement. We hope to see many, many more joint audio-visual productions coming from that agreement.

There is so, so much more we can accomplish by diversifying our relationship and by continuing to partner bilaterally and in international forums such as the United Nations.

Your Majesty, I want to thank you for being such a friend to Canada. And I look forward to continuing to expand on our relationship. Merci.

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