Portuguese President and First Lady visit Jordan

Jordan, Portugal sign deals to boost ties

February 17, 2008

(Royal Hashemite Court, Media & Communication Directorate - Amman) Jordan and Portugal on Sunday signed several agreements meant to cement bilateral ties, which were the focus of talks by His Majesty King Abdullah and visiting Portuguese President Anibal Cavaco Silva.
In a joint communiqué, the two sides said they are keen to develop and reinforce economic, trade and investment relations and build strategic cooperative ties in line with the Euro-Med Partnership.
Cavaco Silva and First Lady Maria Cavaco Silva arrived in Amman Saturday on a three-day official visit. The accompanying delegation included Foreign Affairs Minister Louise Amado and other senior officials and prominent businessmen.
During the meeting with the president, King Abdullah voiced appreciation for Portugal's role as an EU member in supporting the Kingdom's development projects in various sectors.
In this regard, Cavaco Silva commended the Kingdom's reform efforts, noting that Jordan sets a regional model of development.
The two countries signed three cooperation agreements in the fields of tourism, economy and investment promotion. They also signed a memorandum of understanding to develop cultural cooperation.
Jordan and Portugal also agreed to look into prospects of further agreements in the fields of investment protection, security cooperation and civil protection. They also discussed a proposed plan to establish a joint business council through encouraging communication between businessmen in both countries.
Encouraged by the success of Jordanian private pharmaceutical investments in Portugal, the two sides underlined the construction, energy, healthcare, technology and textile sectors as potential investment fields for future joint ventures.
In an interview with The Jordan Times, Cavaco Silva commended the investment project set up by the Jordanian pharmaceutical manufacturer, Hikma, in Portugal as a “good and promising example”.
“However, I agree that trade and investment are fields where we are still very far from the existing potential,” he said.
The two parties agreed to encourage cooperation between the two countries' private sectors as an essential pillar for boosting economic relationship.
The two parties also reiterated their commitment to the Euro-Med Partnership.
The Jordanian side said the Kingdom attaches much importance to the European Neighbourhood Policy and, in this context, is set to fully implement the EU-Jordan Action Plan.
The action plan is a comprehensive set of priorities for joint work by the EU and Jordanian authorities. The 265- million-euro package focuses on a list of top priorities, including support of political development, trade and investment, employment and education, water and energy and public finance management.
On Mideast developments and efforts to push the peace process forward, King Abdullah and Cavaco Silva underlined the need to intensify efforts to achieve a just settlement to the Palestinian issue.
In the joint statement, the two sides said they would work to enhance cooperation on regional and international issues of common concern, notably the Middle East peace process, Lebanon and Iraq.
They emphasized that the Israelis and Palestinians should be committed to their obligations under the roadmap peace plan set by the international Quartet, which includes the EU, in addition to the US, Russia and the UN.
The two leaders underscored their countries' commitment to achieve a just, comprehensive and sustainable solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict, consistent with the terms of reference of the Madrid conference, the principle of land-for-peace, relevant UN Security Council resolutions, the roadmap, as well the Arab Peace Initiative, which offers Israel full normal ties with the Arab world in return for withdrawal from the Arab lands it occupied in 1967.
The two leaders also went over the current situation in Iraq and Lebanon, underlining their support for efforts seeking to achieve security and stability in both countries as part of a comprehensive political process that targets national reconciliation and preserves their unity and sovereignty.
On Lebanon, both countries restated their concerns over the continuous political void, and called on feuding political parties to implement the Arab League's initiative, which urges immediate election of a president and national concord.
Jordan and Portugal also highlighted the relevant role played by United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon and welcomed the prolongation of the force's mandate for another year.
Meanwhile, the two sides stressed their commitment to Iraq's sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity, underlining the importance of inclusive national reconciliation, dialogue and cooperation between Iraq and its neighbours in order to achieve a peaceful and prosperous future for the country.
Both parties expressed their condemnation of all terrorist activities and their commitment to intensifying their cooperation and coordination in the fight against this phenomenon.
Their Majesties King Abdullah and Queen Rania held a dinner banquet in honour of the visiting president and first lady, also attended by Prime Minister Nader Dahabi and several ministers and their spouses, in addition to the Portuguese delegates.