Jordan’s King Starts Visit to France, Due in London Tuesday to Discuss Terrorism, Mideast Conflict
Jordanian King Abdullah II starts a visit to France on Monday, during which he would hold economic and political talks with French President Jacques Chirac and Prime Minister Lionel Jospin, said reports.
King Abdullah’s two-day trip will also take him to London for talks with officials on international efforts to combat terrrorism and Middle East peace.
Abdullah will have a working lunch with French President Jacques Chirac followed by talks with Prime Minister Lionel Jospin before travelling to Britain, a court official told AFP.
French ambassador to Jordan, Bernard Emie told a news conference two days ago that the Jordanian king will discuss with French officials the current international situation in the aftermath of the terrorist strikes against the US last September 11 and developments of the Middle East peace process.
The same topics will be discussed with British officials.
The French diplomat added that the Franco-Jordanian exchanges will also focus on distinguished bilateral relations and means of boosting economic, political and cultural cooperation.
The fight against terrorism and the role that the European Union can play in reviving the Middle East peace process and in trying to soften up Israeli intransigence will be at the center of the talks," a Jordanian official said.
Jordanian Prime Minister Ali Abu Ragheb said on Saturday that a new "global" peace initiative in the Middle East was needed in light of the latest developments in the world.
In London Tuesday, the young monarch is due tp meet Prime Minister Tony Blair and senior British officials.
The Jordanian-British talks will feature developments of the region and regional and international issues of mutual concern, the reports added.
Palestinian President Yasser Arafat is n London Monday for a brief visit during which he would meet Blair on the Mideast conflict, which has gained momentum as the US and its allies woo Arab support for the anti-terror war.
Jordan has strongly denounced the September 11 terror attacks on the United States and voiced support for the efforts to eradicate terror following the start of the US and British military operations against Afghanistan on October 7.
But the king, echoing Arab and Muslim leaders, has stressed the need to spare Afghan civilians.
The Jordanian monarch was also the first Arab leader to insist that the fight against terrorism should look beyond military operations and seek the root causes that fuel such acts, said AFP.
He said the US and international community should also strive for a just and comprehensive solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
"It will be King Abdullah's fourth visit to France (since ascending the throne in February 1999) and this shows the quality of the constructive dialogue between the two countries," France's ambassador to Jordan said.
"France has become Jordan's leading economic partner in the field of investments over the past three years," Bernard Emie said, putting the total of French investments in Jordan at 800 million dollars. – Albawaba.com
© 2001 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)