Jordan: High Representative Josep Borrell reiterated strong partnership and EU support
High Representative Josep Borrell concluded his visit to Jordan. On 2 June, he co-chaired the 14th EU-Jordan Association Council with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Ayman Safadi. The Association Council reviewed the state of EU-Jordan bilateral relations, focusing on the implementation of the EU-Jordan Association Agreement. It adopted the new EU-Jordan Partnership Priorities until 2027 and, during an informal discussion, held a political dialogue on regional and international issues. The Commission was represented by Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement, Olivér Várhelyi.
After the Council, High Representative Borrell said: “We have reconfirmed the strong partnership and friendship between the European Union and Jordan by agreeing new Partnership Priorities that will guide our cooperation until 2027. Jordan is the first country in the Southern Neighbourhood with whom we sign in this round, which shows the special relations and trust between us. It is also why we made an exception and came to Jordan to hold this meeting, which is otherwise held in the EU.”
He added: “We will work together on regional stability, economic stability and the rule of law. We will help Jordan address water, energy and food crises. Jordan can count on our friendship and assistance.”
In addition to the co-chairing of the EU-Jordan Association Council, the visit had a strong bilateral focus.
High Representative Borrell was received by His Majesty King Abdullah II. During the audience, he expressed EU’s strong support for His Majesty’s reform agenda, especially on modernising the Political System, and the political and economic new developments that he highlighted in his speech on the Independence Day on 25 May. They also had an important geopolitical discussion about the war Russia is waging against Ukraine and the repercussions and consequences for the Middle East, including Jordan, as well as the current situation in the Middle East.
“Russia’s war in Ukraine affect negatively everyone in the world. Currently, the world is facing a grain war, in which the Russian President is using hunger as a weapon against the most vulnerable – not only in Ukraine, but also here in the Middle East, in Africa, in Asia. That is why we are taking urgent action to find ways how to enable the continuation of Ukrainian exports and support the United Nations in its efforts to open the Ukrainian ports which remain blocked by the Russian navy. And if this agreement between the United Nations and Russia happens, the European Union will be ready to take its part in implementing this solution.”
High Representative Borrell also held bilateral talks with Deputy Prime Minister Safadi, discussing regional and global matters of common interest, including the Middle East Peace Process, the Syrian conflict and Russia’s aggression against Ukraine.
When discussing the situation in the Middle East, High Representative Borrell reiterated EU’s commitment to a two-state solution, commending Jordan’s strategic role and efforts to maintain the stability and the status quo in Jerusalem in the middle of the troubles witnessed in the last weeks, especially in relation with Jordan’s role as the Custodian of the Holy Sites and as a moderating voice.
He also expressed appreciation for Jordan’s active diplomatic role on the global scene, including its constructive and effective engagement within the United Nations on various regional issues.
On Syria, High Representative Borrell commented: We are helping Jordan also with the consequences of other conflicts – similarly aggravated by Russia’s military actions. We commend and appreciate Jordan’s generosity in hosting Syrian refugees for more than a decade now. And we will continue to support you, Jordan, in this context.”
In all his meetings, High Representative Borrell reaffirmed EU’s strong and concrete support to Jordan to mitigate the damaging consequences of Moscow’s behaviour on the situation in the country, including with €25 million euros from the Food and Resilience Facility for EU Southern partners. The EU-Jordan Investment Platform, which can leverage up to € 2.5 billion of investments was also launched during the visit, and €24 million announced to extend social protection to vulnerable populations in Jordan via a financing agreement.
He also commended Jordan for its support to UNRWA, hosting the Agency’s headquarters, and for hosting 2.3 million Palestinian refugees, the largest Palestinian population anywhere.
He said:“UNRWA's schools and the vital services in health care and general protection it provides are essential first of all for the people but also to the stability and security of the region. The EU is a reliable and predictable partner and a top donor of UNRWA. We will continue providing 82 million per year until 2024, to meet the needs of the Agency”.
Pictures and videos of the visit are available on EbS.
Here is the link to the joint press statement on EU-Jordan Association Council.