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Thursday, December 12, 2002

Hope Gap-Colin Powell

Queen Rania's "hope gap" theme is quoted by US Secretary of State Colin Powell

(Office of Her Majesty, Press Department - Amman) In a speech at the Heritage Foundation in Washington on Thursday, US Secretary of State Colin Powell launched the program, the Middle East Partnership Initiative.

"Our partnership initiative is a continuation and a deepening of our long-standing commitment to working with all the peoples of the Middle East to improve their daily lives and to help them face the future with hope," Powell said.

Speaking to an audience of Diplomats, NGO's and US congressional staff Powell explained that the U.S.-Middle East Partnership Initiative included a set of programs and a framework for future cooperation between the United States and the Middle East.

"It has become increasingly clear that we must broaden our approach to the region if we are to achieve success. In particular, we must give sustained and energetic attention to economic, political, and educational reform. We must work with peoples and governments to close the gulf between expectation and reality that Queen Rania of Jordan has so eloquently termed the "hope gap."

The United States is dedicating around $30 Million to get the program off the ground. "The U.S.-Middle East Partnership Initiative is a bridge between the United States and the Middle East, between our governments and our peoples, an initiative that spans the hope gap with energy, ideas, and funding. Our Partnership Initiative is a continuation, and a deepening, of our longstanding commitment to working with all the peoples of the Middle East to improve their daily lives and to help them face the future with hope. Just as our decision to rejoin UNESCO is a symbol of our commitment to advancing human rights and tolerance and learning, so this Initiative is a concrete demonstration of our commitment to human dignity in the Middle East."

The Initiative will also involve a revision of existing programs to assess their productivity and efficiency.