EU pledges 50 million euros to Jordan
The European Commission on Monday allocated 50 million euros in additional assistance for the Kingdom to help address the burdens brought about by hosting hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees.
The new financial assistance was unveiled by the EU Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle during a press conference, shortly after meeting with His Majesty King Abdullah.
During his meeting, the King underlined his commitment to deepening Jordan’s cooperative ties with European countries, voicing his appreciation of the European Union’s support for the Kingdom, according to a Royal Court statement.
King Abdullah cited efforts geared towards eliminating obstacles hindering the peace process, and spoke on the role the EU is playing in arriving at the establishment of an independent Palestinian state on the 1967 border.
The King warned that the continuation of Israeli settlement policies and frequent attacks on Islamic and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem impede chances to bring about regional peace.
His Majesty highlighted the “huge” burdens placed on the Kingdom due to the growing influx of Syrian refugees and their impact on the country’s scarce resources, commending the EU support to Jordan in this regard.
Füle stressed the union’s commitment to increasing assistance to the Kingdom to enable it to continue its humanitarian role towards the Syrians.
King Abdullah reiterated Jordan’s stance on supporting a transitional political solution to the Syrian crisis that ends the bloodshed and protects the unity and cohesion of the Syrian people.
For his part, Füle expressed the EU’s keenness on maintaining coordination with Jordan and appreciation for the Kingdom’s efforts to achieve peace and stability in the region, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, said.
Füle met with Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh over efforts to revive peace talks between the Palestinians and the Israelis that can lead ultimately to establishing an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital.
Judeh also voiced appreciation for the European Union’s continued assistance to Jordan, especially those dealing with the humanitarian consequences of the Syrian unrest on the Kingdom, Petra said.
Also Monday, Minister of Planning and International Cooperation Ibrahim Saif discussed with the EU official prospects for further cooperation under the Jordanian-European partnership programme.
Jordan is expected to sign grant agreements worth 100 million euros with the EU before the end of this year as part of the union’s 2011-2013 assistance programme to the Kingdom to support several fields, including justice, micro-businesses, energy and financial reforms.
The EU allocated additional aid to Jordan in 2012 worth 70 million euros.