Jordan, Australia enjoy 100 years of enduring friendship, says envoy

[26-01-2022 04:53 PM]

Ammon News - Australian Ambassador Bernard Lynch said Wednesday that his country and Jordan enjoy over 100 years of enduring friendship and engagement and that the Amman-based embassy is their largest in the region.

Speaking to the Jordan News Agency (Petra) on the occasion of Australia Day, Lynch stated that it all began when Australian Lighthorse (mounted infantry), as part of allied forces deployed to the Middle East in World War One, assisted the Great Arab Revolt, eventually leading to the birth of Jordan in 1921. The Australia Embassy will soon publish a book documenting the enduring partnership between our two nations, he indicated.

"Building on this historical legacy, our defense and security ties remain a mainstay of the bilateral relationship. These ties are grounded in shared interests and reflected in the close cooperation between our respective militaries, security and law enforcement agencies," he added.

Security cooperation includes Jordan and Australia’s work together in addressing the threat of terrorism, including through the important Aqaba Process, a Jordanian initiative.

The envoy stressed that bilateral relations have blossomed over the last half century, becoming increasingly diverse, supported by the development of strong institutional and people-to-people links. This includes academic and cultural exchanges, trade and commerce, and technical support, he noted.

He stressed that Australian companies are actively pursuing major investments in Jordan that will create jobs and support economic growth in the Kingdom.

While overall trade volumes are relatively modest, Australia is a supplier of high-quality meat to the Jordanian market and other agricultural produce, while Jordan is an important supplier of fertilizers to Australia, and other products, the envoy highlighted, noting that "It is a key part of my mission here to help facilitate growth in the commercial relationship."

On the academic situation between the two countries, the envoy said he was pleased to see a large cohort of Jordanian alumni of Australian institutions, predicting an increase in the flow of students both ways once the COVID-19 situation allows.

"Jordan, with its natural beauty, rich archaeological heritage and historical sites, has long been a popular destination for Australian tourists. We expect to see growing numbers of Australian tourists here as international travel becomes easier. I am particularly proud of the long history, dating back decades, of cooperation between Australian universities and the Jordanian Department of Antiquities in the field of archaeology," the envoy said.

This cooperation and field work, he added, has yielded new understandings of Jordan’s rich cultural heritage and supported the development of tourist sites.

Australia, like Jordan, is a water scarce country, however, it has provided technical support to the Kingdom to address the acute challenges it faces in water management.

Lynch commended Jordan’s generous hosting of refugees over an extended period, noting that Australia’s humanitarian programs and other assistance have contributed over more than a decade to meeting refugee needs and those of vulnerable host communities.

"We continue this work of burden sharing with targeted assistance in partnership with international agencies, local community organization and the Government of Jordan," he underscored.

It worthy to note that Australia Day, which marks the arrival of European settlement on the eastern shores of Australia on 26 January 1788, is now rightly much more than a commemoration of that historical event.


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