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FM, Italian counterpart hold talks

[10-01-2021 11:01 PM]

Ammon News -

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates, Ayman Safadi, on Sunday received Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Luigi Di Maio.

Both ministers held extended discussions, focusing on activating bilateral cooperation and regional developments.

Safadi and Di Maio said the two friendly countries are keen to increase cooperation in various fields and agreed on forming a follow-up team from both ministries to identify specific topics for cooperation and develop the necessary programs for implementation as soon as possible.

They also identified food security and agricultural sectors and their technologies as priorities, in which specific projects will be defined.

The two ministers discussed the indicative program for Italian development aid for 2021-2023, and the draft framework agreement on this program, under which Italy will provide 235 million euros in the form of grants and soft loans and support sectors will be identified within the framework of this program and its framework agreement will soon be signed.

Safadi and Di Maio highlighted efforts to resolve regional crises, especially the Palestinian issue, Syria and Libya, and combating terrorism.

Safadi underlined the centrality of the Palestinian issue and the need to intensify efforts to re-launch serious negotiations to reach a two-state solution, warning of illegal Israeli actions such as settlements, annexation of lands and demolition of homes that undermine the two-state solution and all chances of achieving a just and comprehensive peace.

The two ministers also discussed developments in Iraq and emphasized the need to support its stability, as Safadi stressed the importance of supporting the Iraqi government and its efforts to consolidate stability and respect the sovereignty and security of Iraq.

In joint press statements after the meeting, Safadi welcomed his Italian counterpart on his "first visit to the Kingdom," and said that it "comes within the framework of consultation and coordination between us on ways to develop deep-rooted ties between our two countries dating back to the forties of the last century, and also to discuss prospects for joint work, in order to address regional challenges and progress towards security and stability, which are our strategic goals."

He added, "Today, I and the guest minister held extensive talks that followed a meeting with Prime Minister, Bisher Khasawneh," pointing out that during his visit, the Italian minister will meet with the Minister of Industry, Trade and Supply and Planning and International Cooperation to discuss details of ways to develop bilateral ties.

Safadi thanked Italy for its support to economic development programs in the Kingdom, adding, "We are now talking about signing a new program for 2021-2023, whereby Italy will provide 235 million euros in the form of soft loans and aid to support a number of development projects in the Kingdom."

He added that the cooperation talks focused on sectors of food security and agriculture, which are a priority for Jordan.

Safadi touched on the regional situation, pointing out that today's meeting was "an opportunity to talk about all the issues that concern us, and all the crises that we work together and in cooperation with our partners also to solve."

He noted that "the Palestinian issue was at the forefront of the issues that we discussed," indicating that there is a lack of political horizon to solve this issue, and there are Israeli measures that undermine the two-state solution."

He indicated that "our focus today is on what we can do together and in coordination with our partners in order to return to effective negotiations that are able to find this political horizon and progress towards a two-state solution."

Safadi stressed that the two-state solution, which embodies the independent Palestinian state with occupied Jerusalem as its capital, on the pre-June 4, 1967 borders, on the basis of international law and the Arab Peace Initiative, to live in peace and security alongside Israel, is the way to achieve comprehensive and lasting peace, which constitutes a strategic option.

The foreign minister expressed appreciation for "the clear Italian position in support of the two-state solution and the great efforts Italy has made and is ready to make in the future in order to resume negotiations and progress towards achieving peace."

Safadi thanked his Italian counterpart for the support provided by his country to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA).

He added that the UN agency plays a vital and essential role in helping more than 5 million refugees, and is facing a serious financial deficit, which requires "our joint cooperation to finance the deficit in order to ensure that the agency continues to play its role according to its UN mandate until a comprehensive solution to the issue is reached on the basis of the two-state solution that ends the occupation that began in 1967."

Regarding the crisis in Libya, Safadi said, "We agree on the need to support all efforts aimed at resolving the Libyan crisis and restore security and stability to Libya, enabling the Libyans to rebuild their country and their future in a manner that guarantees prosperity for Libyan people and prevents any threats to neighboring countries or Europe."

He said that talks also dealt with the situation in Syria, stressing the need for concerted efforts to resolve the Syrian crisis," pointing out that "this crisis has prolonged, and has caused significant destruction, and the solution is political, everyone knows this, but what is required is a focused effort to reach this solution, which preserves Syria’s unity and cohesion, saves it from terrorism and its impacts, provides the Syrian people with opportunities to restore their security and stability, and creates the conditions that allow the voluntary return of refugees, and that this matter will receive a lot of focus in the coming period."

Safadi further aded that "our starting point today is that we are two countries that want peace, we want stability, we want security, we want economic prosperity, we want to cooperate, and we will continue this cooperation bilaterally and also within the framework of the European Union with which we have solid partnership that is evident in many areas of cooperation as well as in the context of efforts to achieve security and stability in the region."

For his part, the Italian Foreign Minister said, "I am pleased to be in the Kingdom despite the circumstances of the coronavirus pandemic."

Di Maio emphasized Italy's commitment to support the Kingdom within the framework programs and agreements signed between the two countries, noting that Italy had provided support to the Kingdom at the Brussels Conference in 2020.

He added that his country seeks to boost commercial and political ties with Jordan, pointing out to the fruitful meeting he had with Prime Minister, Bisher Khasawneh, which provided him with the opportunity to address the important ties between the two countries and discuss ways to develop them.

Di Maio indicated that Italy is currently working to establish a center for Italian language and culture in the Kingdom to enhance cultural cooperation between the two countries, lauding the Kingdom's policy of moderation and its pivotal role on the regional scene and its fight against terrorism and ISIS terrorist gang.

He said that Jordan constitutes a model of religious coexistence and an essential partner for Italy, commending the Kingdom's commitment to promoting and supporting religious freedoms.

He also stressed the importance of bolstering cooperation with Jordan in the multilateral framework, including coordination with the Kingdom under Italy's presidency of the G20, as the Kingdom will be invited to its economic conferences.

On regional issues, Di Maio said that there is matching views between Italy and Jordan on many regional issues, including the peace process in the Middle East and the two-state solution.

He added that the normalization agreements recently signed with Israel, which Italy welcomed, are not a substitute for the peace that must be achieved between the Palestinians and the Israelis, stressing that the situation in Iraq is one of the priorities of Italian foreign policy.

On the Libyan issue, he affirmed his country's support for the results reached during the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum.

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