Jordan's King Abdullah II on Friday marked the first anniversary of his accession to the throne with a pledge to Jordanians they will reap the fruit of political, social and economic reform in 2001.
Looking ahead, the king also urged Jordanians to participate in legislative elections to be held in 2001 and choose the right representatives for the job of steering the kingdom into reform.
"My confidence in the future is great ... what we achieved in 1999 and what we will achieve in 2000 is paving the way and laying the infrastructure for 2001, which will witness a real leap in social and economic conditions," he said in a speech carried by state television and official Petra news agency.
He reiterated his determination to pursue a series of legislative and administrative reforms necessary to the development of Jordan, particularly in the field of information technology (IT).
"We need a substantial review of our policies and of our educational and training program as well as the rehabilitation of our human resources in order to deal with the challenges," the monarch said.
Turning to the 2001 elections, he said: "Each one of us must, when parliamentary elections are held, cast his vote and choose who he thinks represents him and who he thinks shares in our future national vision."
King Abdullah recalled that Jordan's entry into the World Trade Organization earlier this year was the first step towards its development.
Since the king’s accession to the throne in February 1999, following the death of his father the late King Hussein, Jordan has become a formal member of the WTO and embarked on a series of moves to redress its ailing economy, create jobs to overcome spiraling unemployment and attract foreign investments, particularly IT-related.
The king is also behind efforts to improve social conditions in Jordan and develop particularly the welfare of children and women.
Earlier this year he formed, and chairs, an economic consultative council while Queen Rania sits on a royal human rights commission -- AMMAN (AFP)
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