Tuesday 20th November, 2018-Antigua and Barbuda and Kingdom of Jordan have pledged to build upon the existing warm relations between the two states.
That’s one of the outcomes of a meeting held between Antigua and Barbuda’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Immigration and Trade, Hon. E.P. Chet Greene and Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates of the Kingdom of Jordan, Zaed Louzy, held in Amman, Jordan last week.
Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Louzy welcomed Foreign Affairs Minister Greene to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, and he expressed the Kingdom’s desire to establish Jordan as a beacon of moderation within the Arab World.
Minister Louzy zeroed in on the ongoing Palestinian conflict as being the most divisive issue affecting the entire Middle East region, and he explained the conflict’s impact on the economies, politics and security of neighboring countries, with considerable implications for the peace and stability of the wider world. He reaffirmed Jordan’s support for the Two-State solution, the strategy endorsed by the United Nations, and he expressed Jordan’s position that political negotiations are the only way forward if conflicts in Syria, Yemen and Libya are to be successfully resolved.
The Deputy Foreign Minister shed light on the heavy burden that Jordan is forced to bear caused by the presence of 1.3 million Syrian refugees who have fled to the country to escape fighting. He cited the difficulties incurred by absorbing 150,000 Syrian refugee children into the Jordanian school system, noting that United Nations covered only about 23 percent of needed funding.
According to the Deputy Foreign Minister, the Syrian refugee crisis within Jordanian borders is a severe strain on the nation’s limited resources.
In response, Minister Greene expressed his thanks to the Jordanian government and people for the warm reception both he and his delegation received during the visit to the Middle Eastern country. The minister voiced support for the Two-State policy as enunciated by Foreign Minister Louzy as being the only viable solution to the ongoing Palestinian issue. Greene said Antigua and Barbuda would support Jordanian efforts to gain membership on key United Nations committees and organizations.
Antigua and Barbuda’s Ambassador to Jordan, Sami al Mufleh, who was also part of the delegation, expressed his vision for Antigua and Barbuda’s embassy in Amman to serve as a launch pad for the Caribbean country to expand its diplomatic footprint into that part of the world. He also disclosed the desire of Jordan’s ruler King Muhammed II, for Antigua and Barbuda to host the upcoming Aqaba Retreat, an international gathering of Security Ministers and military officials, aimed at eliminating the threat of Islamic radicalization.
Opportunities for technical support and investment were also discussed, with several Jordanian entities already expressing an interest in visiting the country to explore potential for improving bilateral cooperation while strengthening Antigua and Barbuda’s economy. Lastly, both Foreign Ministers expressed their openness to the possibility of the Antigua and Barbuda Ambassador to Jordan expanding his role to cover the State of Israel in the future.