Posts Tagged ‘Nasser Judeh’

Remarks With Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh Before Their Meeting


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Treaty Room
Washington, DC
June 11, 2012

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, it is once again a great pleasure to welcome to the State Department the foreign minister from Jordan. Jordan is a great partner and real leader on regional issues with whom we consult closely on a very comprehensive agenda. And I’m looking forward to having the chance to discuss with the minister the full range of issues that are in the headlines and are ones that we are working closely together on. So welcome, Nasser.FOREIGN MINISTER JUDEH: Thank you very much, Madam Secretary, dear Hillary. Always a pleasure and a privilege to be here to consult with you. And we keep reiterating that this is a friendship and a partnership, and I look forward to our overarching discussion. You’re absolutely right. We should be discussing not only those issues in the headlines, but issues making headlines as well in the future. And I think that bilateral delegations would be foremost, Syria (inaudible) and of course, the ever present question of the Middle East peace process and the lack of movement there, even though we had some positive developments in the last few months. So I look forward to discussing all these things with you. And I thank you again for your warm welcome.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you, my friend.



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Remarks With Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh Before Their Meeting


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Treaty Room
Washington, DC
March 2, 2012

SECRETARY CLINTON:  Well, it’s wonderful to welcome once again my colleague and my friend.  We are delighted that Minister Judeh could be here, because we have a very large agenda between the United States and Jordan.  We stay in very close touch, but nothing replaces face-to-face meetings to catch up on what’s happening in Jordan, what’s happening in the region, and around the world.  So Nasser, thank you and welcome.

FOREIGN MINISTER JUDEH:  Thank you very much, Madam Secretary.  I will just echo what you said and our commitment to maintain constant dialogue with you and consultations, building on the excellent results of His Majesty’s visit with the President and yourself last January.  And this is a relationship that we will describe as much more than a friendship, a true partnership.  And in this context, we have lots to discuss.  I will brief the Secretary on our domestic situation, the economic challenges that we have, and the irreversible political reform program that is led by His Majesty, the King.  And we will also discuss the peace process and the other issues.  It’s always a pleasure to be here, and it’s very, very important for us to keep this dialogue continuing.

SECRETARY CLINTON:  Thank you very much, my friend.   Thank you all.

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Jordan Hosts Israeli, Palestinian, and Quartet Envoys Meetings

Press Statement

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
January 1, 2012


The Jordanian government announced today that Foreign Minister Judeh will host two meetings on January 3, one with Israeli and Palestinian negotiators and the Quartet envoys, and a second meeting between the Israeli and Palestinian representatives. We welcome and support this positive development. I applaud the efforts of the King and Foreign Minister Judeh to bring the parties together and encourage them to approach these meetings constructively. I have been in close contact with Foreign Minister Judeh and with Special Envoy David Hale.

When I met with the other Quartet principals on September 23rd we put forward a framework for resuming direct negotiations between the parties. We knew that progress toward this goal would not be easy so it is essential that both sides take advantage of this opportunity.

We are hopeful that this direct exchange can help move us forward on the pathway proposed by the Quartet. As the President and I have said before, the need for a lasting peace is more urgent than ever. The status quo is not sustainable and the parties must act boldly to advance the cause of peace.

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Hillary Clinton,  international woman of history,  had a long, very busy day today, and, as you know,  on the heels of this comes a four-day trip over many, many miles to Berlin, Seoul, and Tokyo.  We see her here, at her early morning meeting with Qatari Amir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani.  Then she closed the U.S.-China People-to-People Exchange with Chinese State Councilor Liu Yandong. Finally, we see her with Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh.  She goes from the miniscule emirate to the huge country to the tiny country smoothly,  democratically according each equal importance in their friendship with the U.S.

Her day was not over with these photos.  She went on to a meeting at the White House with the POTUS, an appearance and speech at a Vital Voices function, and finally,  probably just finishing as I type, an address to the U.S.- Islamic World Forum.

Mme. Secretary, Godspeed tomorrow.  We hear that you are going to deliver an important speech in Berlin, and you always represent us so well and make us so proud.   Have a safe and successful journey.  We, here, will be tagging along.

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Remarks With Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh Before Their Meeting


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Treaty Room
Washington, DC
April 12, 2011

SECRETARY CLINTON: It is, as always, a great pleasure to welcome the foreign minister back to Washington and to the State Department. He and I have been working together during my entire tenure as Secretary of State. We consult regularly on matters that are part of our bilateral relationship, which, as you know, between the United States and Jordan, is very strong and enduring, and of course, with respect to what is going on in the region as well.

So Minister, welcome again.

FOREIGN MINISTER JUDEH: Thank you very much, Madam Secretary. The Secretary stole the words right out of my mouth. It has been a pleasure and a privilege to work with the Secretary for the better part of the last two years, plus the Secretary is absolutely correct when she says that I was appointed foreign minister exactly one month after she was confirmed as Secretary of State. And since then, we have had an excellent relationship that reflects the very special friendship, partnership between Jordan and the United States.

And I think I could not pass the opportunity of being here in Washington on a speaking engagement without consulting with the Secretary and comparing notes as a person I have tremendous respect for, and as a country that enjoys the best of relations with the United States. There’s so much going on and there’s so much to discuss, so thank you very much.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you so much. Thank you. Thank you all very much.

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Remarks With Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh After Their Meeting


Hillary Rodham Clinton

Secretary of State

Treaty Room
Washington, DC

January 26, 2011

SECRETARY CLINTON: Hello, everyone, and welcome to the State Department. And welcome especially to my friend and my colleague the foreign minister, with whom I have had the privilege of meeting many times over the last two years to discuss a range of very serious and significant issues.

Before I talk about our meeting today, I want to say a word about the protests taking place in Cairo and other Egyptian cities. As we monitor this situation carefully, we call on all parties to exercise restraint and refrain from violence. We support the universal rights of the Egyptian people, including the rights to freedom of expression, association, and assembly. And we urge the Egyptian authorities not to prevent peaceful protests or block communications, including on social media sites.

We believe strongly that the Egyptian Government has an important opportunity at this moment in time to implement political, economic, and social reforms to respond to the legitimate needs and interests of the Egyptian people. The United States is committed to working with Egypt and with the Egyptian people to advance such goals. As I said recently in Doha, people across the Middle East, like people everywhere, are seeking a chance to contribute and have a role in the decisions that affect their lives. And as the President said in his State of the Union yesterday night, the United States supports the democratic aspirations of all people.

When I was recently in the region, I met with a wide range of civil society groups, and I heard firsthand about their ideas, which were aimed at improving their countries, of giving more space and voice to the aspirations for the future. We have consistently raised with the Egyptian Government over many years, as well as other governments in the region, the need for reform and greater openness and participation in order to provide a better life, a better future, for the people.

And for me, talking with the foreign minister from Jordan is always a special experience because of all the work that is being done in Jordon. On every occasion when we meet, it reflects our longstanding friendship and the mutual goals that we share between Jordanians and Americans. And I especially appreciate and respect his counsel. The United States has had a long, close relationship with Jordan for many decades. We value Jordan’s guidance in the region, and today we spoke at length about many of the issues.

We spoke about Lebanon and expressed our hopes that it will be the people of Lebanon themselves, not outside forces, that will sustain the independence and sovereignty of Lebanon. I know that the foreign minister and His Majesty share our concern about peace and stability in the region. And I commend his call for Lebanon to maintain its national unity, security, and stability.

Jordan has developed important relationships with many critical countries and has built a unique and respected position as a peace broker among diverse parties. It was a critical player in the creation of the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative, which brought 57 Muslim states together to advocate a comprehensive peace between Israel and all Arab states. Jordanian peacekeeping troops have served in far-flung places around the world, including Haiti, Sudan, and Cote d’Ivoire. And earlier this month, the Jordanian prime minister, accompanied by Foreign Minister Judeh, led the very first visit by a head of government to meet with the newly elected government in Iraq.

For both our nations, permanent peace in the Middle East remains our number one priority. So much of our discussion centered on ways to keep working toward a two-state solution that will assure security for Israel and realize the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people for a state of their own. Such an agreement, Jordan and the United States believe, will not only bring peace and prosperity to those who are directly affected, but it will be a major step toward a world free of extremism. Jordan’s tireless diplomacy has been, and continues to be, indispensible to this process.

Now, we talked about many other things: water shortages, rising food and oil prices, the need for continuing social and economic reform. And Jordan has taken crucial steps to do just that. I was very proud to have the foreign minister here when we announced the Millennium Challenge Corporation grant. Jordan met the very high standards of the MCC on these social and political and governance indicators. And that compact committed $275 million for sustainable development, jobs, and safe drinking water. It was a vote of confidence in the path that His Majesty is pursuing. And last November, the government invited international observers to monitor its parliamentary elections, and these observers declared the process to be peaceful, fair, and transparent.

Jordan is setting a great example, and we are proud to be your partner and your friend. Sixty years of mutual respect, common security interests, and shared values has built a strong and enduring relationship, and we continue to look for Jordan to lead further progress in the region as we meet the challenges ahead.

Thank you very much, Minister.

FOREIGN MINISTER JUDEH: Thank you very much, Madam Secretary, for your warm words, for your friendship, and for the partnership that we enjoy between our two countries. And it is a real pleasure and honor to be here at the State Department again today, and I wish to thank you for the warm reception and for the constructive and important talks we had today on peace efforts, regional issues, and our excellent bilateral relations, and ways and means to enhance them and build on them.

Middle East peace efforts, as you said, Madam Secretary, are at a crucial juncture. There is a growing and pressing sense of urgency attached to resuming direct negotiations that address all core issues of borders, security, Jerusalem, refugees, and water in the very near future, and with an appropriate and effective context that guarantees the continuity of those negotiations without interruption until they conclude with an agreement that brings about the two-state solution within the anticipated 12-month timeframe identified by the Quartet when direct talks resumed on September 2nd, 2010.

Secretary Clinton and I discussed the means by which we can resume direct Palestinian-Israeli negotiations promptly. And we both agree that the current stagnation is simply not acceptable and also has dangerous repercussions for the security and the stability of the region. His Majesty the King always stresses that the two-state solution is the only solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, which is at the heart of the Arab-Israeli conflict. There are no alternatives to this solution. And as His Majesty the King cautions, with changing demography and geography, and with shifting political dynamics resulting from settlements and other unilateral measures which are illegal and illegitimate and corrosive to peacemaking efforts, the alternative would be devastating to the whole region.

Jordan firmly believes that for the Middle East and the world to enjoy stability, prosperity, and security, the two-state solution must transpire, whereby an independent, sovereign, viable, and territorially contiguous Palestinian state emerges on the ‘67 lines with East Jerusalem as its capital, living side by side in peace and security with all the countries of the region, including Israel, within a regional context that ushers in comprehensive peace based on an internationally agreed-upon terms of reference and the Arab Peace Initiative. This is the only gateway that would enable us to deal more effectively with other challenges and threats.

We discussed the situation in Lebanon, as the Secretary mentioned, and agreed that all efforts must be exerted to ensure that peace, stability, and security prevail, and that the constitutional process and deep-rooted political customs and traditions in Lebanon be fully respected by all parties, as this is the only way to maintain and preserve viability, stability, security, and peace. Jordan unequivocally supports Lebanon’s sovereignty, national cohesion, and independence, and stresses the importance of respecting the sovereignty fully and implementing the commitments and obligations made to Lebanon by the international community and vice versa.

We also discussed our excellent bilateral relations and means to expand them. I briefed the Secretary on the progress achieved by the government in implementing the comprehensive reform agenda of His Majesty King Abdullah II, including the fact that the new house – the lower house of parliament, which is the product of a fair and free general election, as attested to by U.S. and international observers, as the Secretary mentioned, who were invited to witness the elections.

Now, the parliament is in place. The reforms and their economic dimension are challenging and have social impacts, and we are attempting to do all we can to continue steadfastly in a political and economic reform agenda, while at the same time alleviating the economic hardships resulting from rising oil and food prices internationally which affect the Jordanian economy. With the help of our friends here in the U.S. and in other parts of the world, we are steadfast in our political and economic reform agenda, and in alleviating and addressing the economic hardship that result from the economic situation around the world.

And we are, as always, committed to this, His Majesty is committed to this, and we are committed to continuing our dialogue and consultation with you at all times, Madam Secretary. Thank you very much.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you, my friend.

MR. CROWLEY: Kirit Radia from ABC.

QUESTION: Thank you very much. Madam Secretary, I’d like to follow up on your opening statement on Egypt. In Tunisia, the United States was quick to support the aspirations of the protestors. Will the United States support the aspirations of the Egyptian protestors? Mr. Minister, is Jordan worried about these protests spreading elsewhere in the region? Madam Secretary, there are reports already that Egypt has shut down Twitter and Facebook. Do you plan to bring this up with the Egyptian Government directly?

And if I may stay in the region on behalf of a colleague and go a little further south – (laughter) – to Sudan, your meeting later today with the foreign minister of Sudan. Is the United States ready at this point to take them off the terror list? Thank you.

SECRETARY CLINTON: I hope I’m awake enough to remember all those questions.


SECRETARY CLINTON: Good, good. (Laughter.)

Well, first, let me say clearly the United States supports the aspirations of all people for greater freedom, for self-government, for the rights to express themselves, to associate and assemble, to be part of the full, inclusive functioning of their society. And of course, that includes the Egyptian people. I think that what the President said last night in the State of the Union applies not only to Tunisia, not only to Egypt, but to everyone. And we are particularly hopeful that the Egyptian Government will take this opportunity to implement political, economic, and social reforms that will answer the legitimate interests of the Egyptian people. And we are committed, as we have been, to working toward that goal with Egyptian civil society, with the Egyptian Government, with the people of that great country.

So I think then, we were going to you.

FOREIGN MINISTER JUDEH: Thank you very much. I think your question was: Are we worried that these protests will spread? I can’t speak for other countries. I can speak for Jordan, and I’m happy to do so, and I’ve addressed this issue publicly.

In Jordan, we have economic hardships. We have economic realities that we’re dealing with. We have a political and economic reform agenda that is initiated by His Majesty the King and that the government’s trying to implement. This, of course, comes with social considerations. And yes, we are an importer of 90 – 96 percent of our energy. We rely on imported goods. And when there is a rise in oil prices internationally or a rise in food prices internationally, it affects all sectors in Jordan. And the government is trying its best, through economic measures, to alleviate the hardship that the people of Jordan feel.

While at the same time there is freedom of expression in Jordan, where protests dictate this and will probably happen every time there’s an issue, but at least we in Jordan are proud of the fact that the demonstrators demonstrate in an orderly way and have issues to have demonstrate against, and certainly their voices are heard.

And I just want to say that we had a protest over fuel prices and food prices last Friday and the Friday before that. And I think you’ll all remember that last Friday the police was passing out water and juice to the demonstrators. And demonstrators started at a certain time and ended at a certain time, and they had announced their demonstration well ahead of time, weeks before.

So I think that we have to differentiate between economic hardship and – which we have in many countries around the world. Jordan’s not living in a bubble. It’s part and parcel of the fabric of these international economies – and between political stability, which we are blessed with in Jordan with the Hashemite leadership, His Majesty the King, who initiates reform from within, as I mentioned earlier.

So I can speak for Jordan and I can tell you that we have economic realities that we have to deal with, but we have a political system, guided by His Majesty the King, that promotes freedom and openness and freedom of expression.

SECRETARY CLINTON: With respect to my meeting later this afternoon with the Sudanese foreign minister, I’m very much looking forward to consulting with him about the progress that has been made to date. The United States and many other nations were encouraged by the peaceful execution of the referendum in the South. And we hope to continue working with the government in Khartoum on the remaining issues, which are many, in order to fully implement the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, to finally resolve the status of Abyei, citizenship issues. We are still very focused on the ongoing problems in Darfur. So we have a full agenda of issues to discuss.

MR. CROWLEY: (Inaudible) from —

QUESTION: Thank you, P.J. Madam Secretary, you seem to imply that the Egyptian Government is capable of reforming itself and meeting the expectation of the people. Yet the mood in the streets of Cairo today contrasts that, and people are demanding for radical change, removal of the government and President Mubarak not to nominate himself for another term. Are you unsure of what’s happening in Cairo?

And if I may, you made a focus – the Israeli-Palestinian question a focus of this Administration. Yet the most important speech by the President last night seems to skip it, not to mention it by word even. Are you giving up on the Israeli-Palestinian question?

Very quickly, if I may – (laughter) – since I have – entitled the same rights as the Americans –

SECRETARY CLINTON: Yes, you do. You do. (Laughter.) We believe in equal rights – (laughter) – for Jordanians, Americans, women, men. We are in favor of equal rights, even for reporters. (Laughter.)

FOREIGN MINISTER JUDEH: Please make sure my question is not as long as that one. (Laughter.)

QUESTION: No. Very quickly – you talk about reigniting the process. How do you propose to break the impasse?


QUESTION: The Israeli-Palestinian –

FOREIGN MINISTER JUDEH: Yeah, in the overall context of what we’re talking about reigniting (inaudible). (Laughter.)

QUESTION: Yeah, I picked the word.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Do you want to answer that and then I’ll answer it? (Laughter.)

FOREIGN MINISTER JUDEH: Reigniting the process?

QUESTION: Yeah. How do —


QUESTION: Thank you.

FOREIGN MINISTER JUDEH: With your position, Madam Secretary, I mean, I think that our discussions today centered on what we need to do collectively. The current impasse in the peace process, like – I always use the expression “Arab-Israeli conflict, at the core of which is the Palestinians, (inaudible).” The current impasse is very, very unsettling, and it has to be resolved. And I know that the Secretary has reassured me today that they are still committed. We always say that the United States is not just a mediator or an honest broker; the United States is a full partner on this.

And it has been said that – by President Obama, by the Secretary, by Senator Mitchell, whom I’m seeing later on – that this is U.S. national interest. This is not just a local or regional conflict. This is a conflict that is loaded with global ramifications. We’ve said that before. And it is U.S. national interest, just like it is the national interest of all the parties concerned, the stakeholders, to reach a solution to this lingering conflict. The Palestinians are entitled to their state. Israel and the whole region is entitled to security and stability.

When we’re talking about economic hardship, I think we also have to bear in mind that peace will usher in the opportunities that come with peace – economic opportunities, not just political peace, but an economic peace, an integration and reintegration of the whole region, and the vast potential that can be unleashed from this region. Don’t forget that the majority of the people who live in the Middle East are young, below the age of 30. They need opportunities. In this day and age, you refer to Twitter and Facebook, and I am on Twitter myself – (laughter) – as the diplo-babes know. (Laughter.) Yeah, they are the diplo-babes, didn’t you know that? (Laughter.) They see the opportunity —

SECRETARY CLINTON: Try to dig yourself out of that one. (Laughter.)

FOREIGN MINISTER JUDEH: Well, they are. (Laughter.) They refer to themselves as —

QUESTION: (Inaudible.)

SECRETARY CLINTON: Yeah. Oh, excellent.


Anyway, this is some – the situation where people see the opportunities all over the world and they want to have the same opportunities, so there are economic dividends of peace as well. And I think the time has come to pool our efforts collectively to ensure that the next few weeks will see a resumption of negotiations according to international legitimacy, the parameters that we’re all agreed on, and the Arab Peace Initiative, and the timeframes that we have announced.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I would certainly second everything that Nasser just said. With respect to the President’s speech, there were many parts of the world not mentioned and many very serious issues that were not mentioned because, as you could tell from the content of the speech, it was very much focused on the American agenda and dealing with our own economic challenges – getting more jobs, growing the economy, innovating, educating, rebuilding; but make no mistake; we are absolutely committed to the process. And we believe that a framework agreement that resolves the core issues not only remains possible, but necessary.

And as the foreign minister said, he will be meeting later with George Mitchell. We have a constant dialogue going on with many of our friends and partners in the region and around the world. We remain committed to a two-state solution. We are absolutely continuing our work. I will be going to Munich a week from Saturday for a Quartet meeting that will be held where we will discuss the way forward toward our common goal. So there is – from the top with President Obama and myself, all the way through this government, we remain absolutely committed and focused on what needs to be done.

With respect to the Egyptian Government, I do think it’s possible for there to be reforms, and that is what we are urging and calling for. And it is something that I think everyone knows must be on the agenda of the government as they not just respond to the protest, but as they look beyond as to what needs to be done economically, socially, politically. And there are a lot of very well informed, active civil society leaders in Egypt who have put forward specific ideas for reform, and we are encouraging and urging the Egyptian Government to be responsive to that.

Thank you very much.

FOREIGN MINISTER JUDEH: Thank you very much.

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Remarks at Millennium Challenge Corporation Signing Ceremony for the Jordanian Compact

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh, MCC CEO Daniel Yohannes and Jordanian Minister of Water and Irrigation Mohammad Najjar
Dean Acheson Auditorium
Washington, DC
October 25, 2010

MR. YOHANNES: Thank you. Please be seated. Minister Judeh, Secretary Clinton, Minister Najjar, all our distinguished guests. It is an honor to join you for the historical signing of a $275 million compact between the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and the U.S. Government’s Millennium Challenge Corporation.

Jordan and the United States share a close friendship built on mutual interest and shared values. The MCC Compact we sign today is further proof of the cooperation between our two great countries. I’d like to especially thank Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, the chair of MCC’s Board of Directors for her ongoing support of MCC’s mission to fight global poverty. I’d also like to thank Mohye al-Deen Shbool and Jay Scheerer for their exceptional leadership in guiding the Jordanian and MCC teams to this occasion.

Water is at the heart of the MCC Jordan Compact. Jordan is ranked among the five most water poor countries in the world. Because of short supply of water, many households receive water only once or twice a week. Poor connections and leaking pipes mean that even available water fail to reach some homes and businesses. The limits – this limits economic activity and complicates daily life. Ordinary citizens, the private sector, civil society, and the government worked together to identify Jordan’s severe water shortages as a constraint to economic growth. Addressing this issue is a priority for improving livelihoods, reducing poverty, and achieving sustainable economic growth.

Reflecting President Obama’s vision for global development, MCC’s country-driven approach invests in solutions by and for Jordanians. We believe our investments are most effective in partner countries that lead their own development and create conditions that lead their own – sustain their own impact we seek. That’s why Jordan’s Compact invests in water sector and that’s why Jordan is committed to sound policies, transparency, and accountability to deliver results from this Compact.

Jordan’s MCC Compact invests in three integrated water and wastewater projects in Zarqa. This is one of the country’s poorest areas, where nearly three in ten households consume less than the minimum amount of water considered essential for personal hygiene and food safety.

First, the Compact will rehabilitate the water supply network for households and businesses. Second, the Compact will expand the wastewater collection network into neighborhoods that lack access to proper sewer systems. Third, the Compact will expand the As-Samra Wastewater Treatment Plant by partnering with a private sector operator that will mobilize a portion of the total construction cost. Together, these projects will increase the water supply to households and commercial users throughout Zarqa.

Excellencies, MCC is proud to partner with Jordan to make sure that water advances prosperity. I congratulate the people of Jordan for their vision in creating the Compact we sign today.

Looking ahead, our focus must be on the Compact’s timely and successful implementation. When water flows in Jordan, poverty reduction and sustainable economic growth will surely follow.

It is now my great privilege to introduce and yield the podium to the chair of MCC’s board, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. Madam Secretary. (Applause.)

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you Daniel. Thank you and it is a pleasure to welcome all of you here today for this exciting event. Last month, I had the honor of visiting His Majesty King Abdullah II in Amman and conferring with my colleague, Foreign Minister Judeh. So I’m especially pleased to have this opportunity to have all of you here for the witnessing of this new development partnership. And I want to welcome Minister of Water Najjar, Her Royal Highness – thank you for being here as well – the new ambassador from the Hashemite Kingdom, and all of our other Jordanian guests.

You’ve heard from President Yohannes all of the reasons why this project goes to the very core of one of Jordan’s most serious challenges: access to water; the good utilization of water; making sure that the water that is available and that can be collected, is deliverable. We heard what Jordanians told us during this process. And of course, our relationship with Jordan is rooted in mutual respect and common purpose and a shared commitment to working for peace and greater prosperity in the region. Jordanian peacekeepers serve in troubled lands far from home. The Jordanian Government, particularly His Majesty and the foreign minister have worked with us literally side by side and telephone by telephone to support direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians with the goal of two states for two peoples and a comprehensive peace in the region. We could not do this without Jordan’s leadership.

So this compact takes our already strong relationship to the next level. The United States will invest $275 million through the Millennium Challenge Corporation. I was very excited to share this good news with King Abdullah in person and I’m pleased to witness the official signing today. This will be a tangible demonstration of this friendship that exists between the people of Jordan and the people of the United States.

Because of the upgrades that will be made to the water supply network and to improving waste water collection and expanding a key wastewater treatment plant, nearly 2 million people will gain more reliable access to clean water, many for the first time. These projects will help Jordan manage its water resources while saving money and protecting the environment. And over the long term, such improvements to Jordan’s water system will help spur sustainable economic growth and improve public health. But the impact will be felt right away with much needed new construction jobs as projects begin. This is a real partnership.

I thank the Government of Jordan and your team. I thank the Millennium Challenge Corporation and its team.

Before I close, I want to say a few words directly to the people of Jordan. In a time when many families here in the United States are tightening their own belts and making difficult sacrifices, we are making this investment in your country because we believe in Jordan’s promise and we are committed to Jordan’s future. Americans understand that a strong and prosperous Jordan is good for the region and good for the world. We want to work with you to realize our shared aspirations and shape the future together. That is what this agreement is all about. Now, I would like to invite the foreign minister to add his comments.

Minister Nasser Judeh. (Applause.)

FOREIGN MINISTER JUDEH: (In Arabic.) Thank you very, very much, Madam Secretary. It is a great pleasure to be here at the State Department again and I am particularly honored to be here at the signing ceremony of the Millennium Challenge Corporation Compact. This auspicious occasion marks yet another important milestone in the strong and enduring relationship between Jordan and the United States, a relationship based on friendship, on mutual respect, common values, strategic partnership, and a shared commitment to peace and development.

The signing of the Compact today clearly demonstrates the United States’ unwavering commitment to the stability and prosperity of Jordan and to the entire region. It also reflects the United States strong acknowledgement of Jordan’s steady, unwavering and committed development and reform efforts on all levels. Indeed, the United States has made substantial and much appreciated contributions over many years to Jordan’s development in key areas such macroeconomic stability and the economic reforms and has provided support to critical sectors. Not to mention our all-important partnership in so many key areas, not least of all the pursuit of peace and prosperity in our troubled region.

We are very, very grateful and extremely thankful for this invaluable support and assistance. Jordan, under the leadership of His Majesty King Abdullah II ibn Al-Hussein remains committed to forge ahead along the road of reform and progress to create better lives and a prosperous future for our people and to set an example of what is possible to achieve. And in this regard, the sky is the limit.

We have made significant strides in political, economic and social reforms over the last few years, which have enhanced growth rates, improved the investment climate, strengthened the private and public sectors, and reduced the rates of poverty and unemployment. We also focus our efforts on ensuring gender equality and empowering women as key components of all our development plans.

And I think you mentioned, Madam Secretary, the presence of two very distinguished and accomplished ladies, our ambassador to the United States and Her Royal Highness Princess Aisha bint Al-Hussein our defense attaché. Just an example of where we’re heading in Jordan and I’m very proud to be here with them today.

Our parliamentary elections in two weeks, yours in one week, Madam Secretary, will mark yet another significant milestone along this path. And the significance of the date of our elections, the 9th of November, will not be lost on you in particular because five years ago on that tragic day in November in 2005, we had the terrorist attacks that took the lives of so many innocent civilians in Jordan and this is yet another affirmation of our resolve and our commitment to move steady on and meet these challenges head on in partnership with all our friends around the world.

The government is committed to having this process be open, transparent, and fair and so reform efforts for the upcoming period will build on the achievements and sustained gains attained to date on all fronts. Madam Secretary, Your Highness, ladies and gentlemen, Excellencies, the MCC program in Jordan has unique characteristics – relevance to the real needs of Jordanians, innovation in finding practical solutions to the challenges we face, and determination to implementing them.

The program will positively touch the lives of so many Jordanians in many ways, for it addresses water scarcity, one of the gravest environmental challenges that we in Jordan face today. The Compact will fund projects that will improve water and sanitation services to more than a million inhabitants in densely populated cities within the Zarqa area and will provide job opportunities for many Jordanians. In fact, this grant is of great importance to the water sector in Jordan as it contributes by around 20 percent of the total capital investment in the water sector over the coming three years.

I wish to extend our sincere thanks and appreciation to Secretary Clinton for her strong and unwavering support to the Compact agreement with Jordan. Madam Secretary, your presence here today and your words with His Majesty the King in Amman and the press conference we had during your last visit to Jordan is a clear demonstration of your support and of your friendship. We are also thankful to Mr. Yohannes for his strong leadership throughout the process. We also acknowledge the efforts of Mr. Patrick Fine, vice president for Compact Operations, Mr. Darius Teter, and deputy vice president.

I wish to thank my colleagues in Jordan who worked on this day and in the past, our MCA unit at the prime ministry and the teams in the ministries of planning, water and irrigation, and foreign affairs. I also wish to thank the transaction team at the MCC working on Jordan’s program for their cooperation, dedication, and support during the whole Compact development stages.

We in Jordan are looking forward to continuing to working very, very closely with the MCC towards effective, flourishing implementation of Jordan’s program and we’ll always be prepared to overcome obstacles that might come across our way. This is a great day. Thank you very much all of you. (Applause.)

(The Compact is signed.) (Applause.)

FOREIGN MINISTER JUDEH: Good luck, Madam Secretary.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you. (Applause.)

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Remarks With Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Marka Airbase
Amman, , Jordan
September 16, 2010

FOREIGN MINISTER JUDEH: (In progress) here in Amman today. Secretary Clinton is a longtime friend of Jordan, a distinguished and remarkable international figure, a champion of peace and a multitude of (inaudible) causes, and indeed, as Secretary of State of the United States of America, an ally, a close friend, and supporter of Jordan. So I personally am grateful, Madam Secretary, for the excellent (inaudible) relationship which I have.
His Majesty King Abdullah the II had very productive conference and talks with Secretary Clinton earlier today. The talks, as you would all expect, focused on developments pertaining to the ongoing direct negotiations between the Palestinians and the Israelis that began in Washington on September 2nd and resumed in Sharm el-Sheikh and Jerusalem in the past two days. His Majesty reiterated Jordan’s firm, unwavering commitment to exert every effort to ensure the success of these negotiations and their fruitful conclusion with an agreed upon timeframe and the realization of the two-state solution whereupon independent, sovereign, territorially contiguous Palestinian state living side by side in security, peace, good neighborly relations, cooperation, and integration with Israel and the other countries of the region within a regional context that also leads to the achievement of comprehensive Arab-Israeli peace on the basis of internationally agreed upon terms of reference for Middle East peace and particularly the Arab Peace Initiative.
We are encouraged by the focused and concentrated course of direct negotiations thus far. President Abbas and Prime Minister Netanyahu have met several times since the resumption of these direct talks on the 2nd of September. Secretary Clinton, who has presently attended several of these meetings herself with the two leaders, stated yesterday that the two sides have already delved into negotiations regarding all the core issues. And these core issues are Jerusalem, refugees, borders, security, and water. And of course, there is much discussion on settlements.
If you remember, Madam Secretary, many times when we have met in the past, we have spoken of the need to fast-track and pay special emphasis to borders and security, which may, in themselves, open the doors for a resolution of the – all points of contention.
As you all know, and needless to say, all these core issues are related to Jordan and its interests, and therefore we are happy that we are engaging with our friends on all fronts on this issue. And we are doing all that we can to ensure that this focused and concentrated engagement continues with a view of successfully concluding the negotiations and reaching agreement within one year.
We are grateful to President Obama, to Secretary Clinton, Senator Mitchell and his team for their relentless efforts, unshakable commitment, firm resolve, and deep engagement that contributed to the resumption of direct negotiations. We trust that this active engagement will continue and intensify as the leadership role of the United States in this endeavor is pivotal for its success, notwithstanding the fact that the parties themselves are the ones who eventually have to reach agreement. Nevertheless, the essential role of the United States in encouraging the parties and its continued active engagement in assisting them to surmount any obstacles is paramount. And on our behalf in Jordan and as His Majesty the King has stated, we will do our full share of the needed encouragement for the parties to arrive at an agreement and that the current negotiations will bring tangible progress and meaningful traction expeditiously and won’t become another open-ended process.
His Majesty the King stressed in his remarks during the event hosted by President Obama to launch direct negotiations in Washington that peace has eluded us for so long and that we must succeed this time in realizing the two-state solution and achieving comprehensive peace. The onus is on all of us to ensure that this endeavor succeeds, to make history and deliver the long-awaited peace and its dividends to the countries and peoples of the entire Middle East and to the world at large, which is united in its view that realizing the two-state solution and achieving comprehensive peace is a vital global interest and not only an interest for the countries and peoples of the region.
Goodwill, strong leadership, and matching words with action, and judging action rather than just words, is needed on the part of the parties to ensure success. Desisting from all provocative unilateral action and ensuring, Madam Secretary – and I think I speak on behalf of both of us – ensuring that nothing that is done or said derails this commitment and this effort. Success is very much contingent upon resurrecting mutual confidence and restoring faith on both sides of the divide.
On bilateral relations, I would like to say that this strategic relationship between us gets stronger by the day. We thank the United States for its support for Jordan on all levels. In my most recent meeting with the Secretary in Washington a couple of weeks ago, or just under a couple of weeks ago, we made serious headway on a range of issues. Particularly, I mentioned the nuclear cooperation agreement which is under discussion and hopefully nearing the end of that discussion, and we thank the United States for its strong and firm support for Jordan on that front.
And I think today in the meeting with His Majesty, the Secretary had some good news for Jordan, but I’ll let the Secretary talk about that. And I would just like to say, Madam Secretary, that – Hillary, if I may call you, you have many friends here in Jordan. You are no stronger to Jordan. You have people who admire you, admire your work and your commitment to peace. Welcome on this short visit, and I hope that the next one will be longer. Thank you, Madam Secretary. Please.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you so very much. It is a great pleasure for me to be here not only with a colleague and counterpart foreign minister, but a friend. I have had an extraordinarily close and productive working relationship with Nasser Judeh. We have spent many hours talking about issues between our two countries in the region and indeed across the world. And I want personally to thank you for your constructive, constant contributions to all of the difficult issues that we are dealing with.
And so it is a pleasure to be back in Amman. I am very grateful that I had the opportunity to meet with His Majesty King Abdullah II and the great pleasure of being hosted by the King and Queen for a private lunch, where we had a chance both to catch up personally but also to delve into the issues that Nasser has referenced.
The United States values our strong, close relationship, our very important partnership with Jordan. It is rooted in respect and common purpose. And today, I am very pleased to announce that yesterday a new Millennium Challenge Corporation compact was voted on that will invest more than $275 million in sustainable development here in Jordan. We worked very hard on this, and it was in partnership with the Jordanian Government that we looked at the needs that the people of Jordan have. We consulted broadly, outside even the Jordanian Government, with the private sector, with academics, experts, and others. And constantly, we heard, “Help Jordan deal with the water and waste water issues that affect people across the country.”
So this compact will help rehabilitate the water supply network, improve waste water collection and irrigation, and expand a key waste water treatment plant. This investment will create jobs for the people of Jordan, so it has the added benefit of not only building infrastructure that will help people in their homes, in their businesses, and provide a base for further economic development, but put people to work right now. And at the end, more than one million Jordanians will be supplied with safe and reliable access to clean drinking water for the very first time.
I want to thank the Government of Jordan for its close cooperation. These were highly technical decisions because they require a lot of expertise about what will work, and we could never have reached the decision to make this commitment without the guidance and leadership of Jordan.
We make this investment because we care about the people of Jordan. We make this investment because we believe investing in Jordan is good for the region and for the world. Jordan goes way above and beyond the call to duty. There’s a saying that Jordan punches above its weight. It may not be a huge population, but it has a commitment to excellence in so many areas.
Jordan has continued to help build a stable, sovereign, and self-reliant Iraq, and I want to thank the government and people of Jordan for the assistance that you give to Iraqi refugees. I know that that was a difficult responsibility to accept, but I thank you for carrying it forward.
I also thank the government and people of Jordan for your efforts on behalf of peacekeeping missions around the world, where Jordan has proven time and time again to be a force for peace and progress.
And of course, as Nasser said, Jordan is a crucial partner working to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and bring a comprehensive peace to the Middle East. We were honored to host King Abdullah II in Washington as these talks got underway, and I want to publicly thank him, as I privately have, for his contributions both to the resumption of direct negotiations and to the constructive beginning that has occurred. Jordan’s steadfast support for this process is essential. And today, His Majesty and I discussed ongoing negotiations and I expressed my confidence that Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Abbas can make the difficult decisions necessary to resolve all of the core issues within one year.
Ever since September 2nd, despite the fact that I have known both of these men for many years, I have spent hours and hours with them and watched them interact with each other. I’ve watched them talk and listen to each other. They are serious about this effort. They are committed and they have begun to grapple with the hard but necessary questions. I am convinced that this is the time and these are the leaders who can achieve the result we all seek: two states for two peoples, living in peace and security.
I am well aware there are many skeptics and doubters, and I appreciate the concerns that many throughout the region have. But I ask: What is the alternative? What is the alternative for the Palestinian people, who deserve to have their aspirations fulfilled in a sovereign, independent, viable state of their own? And what is the alternative for Israel, who asks that they get the security that they are seeking so that they can live side by side with their Palestinian neighbors?
We believe that not only is it important to pursue the Palestinian-Israeli negotiations, but a comprehensive regional peace, the vision that is at the heart of the Arab Peace Initiative. And Nasser and I have spent a lot of time talking about the remarkable document that the Arab Peace Initiative is. I’m not sure many Arabs nor many Israelis have read it, and I would commend to you, particularly those of you in the media, read this document that was begun as a wholly Arab initiative. It was led by, it was written by, it was promulgated by Arab leaders. And it holds out the very promise that we seek.
And also, we are seeking to determine what direction we can head in order to pursue peace between Israel and Syria, and Israel and Lebanon. To this end, Senator Mitchell is on his way for consultations in Damascus and Beirut. We believe that progress toward regional peace will support and give confidence to the direct Israeli-Palestinian negotiations and also bring peace to those countries as well.
Now, I hope that we keep in mind what is possible, because I think peace is possible. And I also think peace is necessary. I will always remember watching the late King Hussein as he signed a treaty that ended decades of war with Israel. That was a historic achievement that continues to inspire me. And under the leadership of King Abdullah II, Jordan has continued to demonstrate its willingness to make difficult decisions in the name of peace that will lead to stability and security.
So with the commitment of an Israeli prime minister and a Palestinian president who both embrace the goal of a two-state solution, peace is once again within our reach. But it is really going to be up to all of us. The leaders may meet in the room and discuss these issues, the negotiators may debate around the table, but peace only comes from the people themselves. And I would ask that all of the people of this region do what you can to promote the possibility and then the reality of peace.
So again, let me thank Jordan and particularly my friend, the Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh, for your leadership and your active involvement in the pursuit of this important goal – important for Jordan, for the Palestinian people, Israel, the United States, and all the world who cares about what we are achieving and attempting to accomplish here today. Thank you all very much.

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Remarks With Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh After Their Meeting

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State

Treaty Room
Washington, DC
July 8, 2010

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, thank you. It’s a pleasure, once again, to welcome a friend and colleague, Foreign Minister Judeh, back to the Department to have an in-depth discussion on the range of issues that are subjects of intense work and consultation between our two countries.
His Majesty King Abdullah is a strong and effective voice for tolerance and cooperation in a region that sees too little of both. And his government has been a steadfast partner against the violent extremism that threatens the cities and citizens in Jordan, the United States, and around the world. Our two peoples may have different histories, Mr. Minister, but we are united and have been in our hopes for a better future.
We share a strong commitment to achieving a comprehensive peace in the Middle East based on the two-state solution that provides all of the people in the region the chance to pursue their full God-given potential in security and dignity.
And once again, today, the foreign minister and I discussed important steps that must be taken to achieve a real and lasting peace.
We know that the recent meeting that President Obama had with Prime Minister Netanyahu reaffirmed the commitment that the United States has to this process. We commended the progress in allowing more goods into Gaza. We think it is possible to meet Israel’s legitimate security needs while preventing Hamas from continuing to build up arms in Gaza. And Jordan and other Arab states are crucial to this effort to foster conditions for further progress. Investments in the Palestinian economy, political support for the Palestinian Authority, and condemnation of violence will all help improve the situation for the Palestinian people in Gaza and the West Bank.
The foreign minister and I discussed the ongoing talks and we both believe that moving to direct talks as soon as possible is in the interest of Israelis, Palestinians, the region and the world.
We believe that through good-faith negotiations, the parties can mutually agree on an outcome that ends the conflict and reconciles the Palestinian goal of an independent, viable, and contiguous state, based on the 1967 lines, with agreed swaps, and the Israeli goal of a Jewish state with secure and recognized borders that reflect subsequent developments and meet Israeli security requirements. So we continue to encourage the parties to move toward negotiations to reach an agreement on the permanent status issues.
Jordan has been an active participant in the Arab Peace Initiative and we’re very grateful for not only all that His Majesty and his government do on behalf of these regional and global issues, but in Afghanistan, in the search for a greater understanding among people, in education, healthcare, water, border security, good governance, and so much more. There’s a broad and deep partnership. And we very much appreciate that partnership and friendship.

FOREIGN MINISTER JUDEH: Thank you very much, Madam Secretary. It is a true honor and privilege and a real pleasure to be here at the State Department and to meet with you again.
As you know, we are always very keen to have a continuous consultations with you. And so my visit here today comes in that context and in the context of the very solid and strong strategic relationship, which I referred to in this very room on my previous visits, as not only a friendship but a true partnership.
And my visit also comes in the context of a follow-up to the talks that His Majesty the King had with President Obama when he was here in April for the Nuclear Security Summit and also the discussions that His Majesty has had with you recently both in person here in Washington when he was visiting privately and on the phone.
And I have to say that it is always important to remind the world of this special relationship between the United States and Jordan. It has been a strong and solid relationship for over 60 years. And I have said previously that it has withstood many tests, but gets stronger by the day. And certainly the commonality of vision and interest that we have is the basis of this relationship. And we always appreciate the support that this country provides for Jordan and the unity of vision and objectives that we have for the future.
And as you said, Madam Secretary, maybe different cultures and different history, but certainly a common future, I hope. I have to say that on the subject of the peacemaking efforts, the United States’s role is not only crucial, but is very much required. We share the vision of the two-state solution that happens to be the only solution to the Palestinian problem, which rests at the heart of the broader Arab-Israeli conflict.
We view the U.S. efforts in this context as pivotal and central, and we fully and unequivocally support the leading U.S. role in this regard. We are committed to helping in every way possible. When His Majesty met with President Obama back in April 2009, he said that we cannot leave the U.S. to do the heavy lifting on its own. We are there to help and do our fair share of the heavy lifting, and I think we have modestly tried to do as much as we can in continuous consultation and coordination with our U.S. friends.
We are in agreement that direct talks addressing all final status issues including borders, security, Jerusalem, and refugees must resume quickly. In Jordan, we stress that direct talks should resume from the point at which they stopped in the past and build on previous agreements and understanding. Such talks have to be time-bound, benchmarked, and conducted in good faith in order to expeditiously arrive at the two-state solution, whereby, a sovereign, viable, territorially continuous Palestinian state emerges on the 1967 lines with East Jerusalem as its capital living in peace and (inaudible) security with Israel and all its neighbors.
And I have to remind you, if I may, Madam Secretary, of what His Majesty said which is, that will bring about peace between Israel and normal relations between Israel and 57 Arab and Muslim nations. I recently said peace in the Middle East is peace of mind for the rest of the world. It’s important to remember that the Arab-Israeli conflict can no longer be looked at as a local or regional conflict; it is a global conflict with global repercussions and global ramifications. And it is in our interest, and we are heartened by the fact that the President and Secretary of State always remind us that peace in the Middle East is a vital U.S. national interest. And it is from that perspective that we highly value the U.S. role.
The solution has to be the product of negotiations between the parties themselves, and is indeed one that would be more permanent and stable than any solution that is imposed or prescribed. But our role is important in bringing the parties to talking to each other. And again, I need to remind that the sense of urgency is one that compels us to do this as soon as possible. All actions that are prejudicial to the resumption and the success of direct talks – provocation, unilateral measures in occupied territories – all provocation has to end. All prejudicial action has to stop to ensure that the atmosphere is right to resume negotiations and to ensure the success of these negotiations. And as we have said recently, perhaps in the last eight – sixteen months, we have seen an emphasis on Israeli-Palestinian track, but I think we have to remind again of the comprehensiveness that is needed.
Madam Secretary, thank you very much, and thank you for hosting me. I look forward to our continuous engagement and consultation, and hopefully seeing our common objectives through.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you, my friend.
MR. TONER: Time for just two questions. First is Jon Decker, Reuters TV.
QUESTION: Thank you, Secretary Clinton. There are numerous reports that a Russian researcher serving a 14-year sentence for providing information to a British company was notified by Russian officials that he would be among a group of Russians convicted of spying for the West, to be exchanged for the 10 Russians arrested by the FBI last month. What can you tell us about the nature of a spy swap discussion, when such a spy swap would take place, what the U.S. would gain from such a spy swap?
And if I may, Secretary Clinton, about Cuba – (laughter) – there have been – (laughter) – thank you. I appreciate that. There are reports that Cuba plans to release 52 dissidents. What can you tell us about that? And there have been many calls in Congress for lifting the 50-year embargo on Cuba. Is this something that the U.S. is either pursuing or would like to see happen?
Thank you.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Well first, as to your initial question, I’m going to refer all inquiry about this matter to the Justice Department. And as to the second question, we were encouraged by the apparent agreement between the Roman Catholic Church and the authorities in Cuba for the release of 52 political prisoners. I spoke late last night with the Spanish Foreign Minister, Minister Moratinos, and we welcome this. We think that’s a positive sign. It’s something that is overdue, but nevertheless, very welcome.
QUESTION: (Inaudible.) Madam Secretary, I wanted to ask you – President Abbas has been calling on Prime Minister Netanyahu to endorse the parameters on security and borders that has come from Annapolis Conference. What is your position on that?
And Mr. Foreign Minister, I want to ask you – President Obama has asked the Arab states to have a bigger role in the peace process now. I know you’ve talked about the Arab Peace Initiative, but what more tangible steps can the Arab states take at this point to push the process forward?
SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, we believe that all the issues that need to be resolved between the parties must be discussed in direct negotiations. The sooner that the Israelis and Palestinians get into direct negotiations, the sooner they can actually make decisions. That’s the way it’s worked in the past. That is the only way it can work today. And it’s very clear from what the United States has said and done that we continue to urge the parties to get into direct negotiations as soon as possible. And I’m hopeful that that will be agreed to and that direct negotiations can start in a timely manner.
FOREIGN MINISTER JUDEH: Thank you. I think when you say that of peace initiative, this is a peace initiative that was adopted in the Beirut summit of 2002, reaffirmed in every single Arab summit since then and endorsed by the Organization for the Islamic Conference, which is another 35 states added to the 22 Arab states. So this is, again, why we say the 57-state solution, the 57 nation that will support this peace.
And I totally agree with the Secretary of State that we need to now arrive at a conducive environment that will see a sliding from these proximity talks, which are very, very important because it reflects the total commitment of the United States to this endeavor, to direct talks, which is the only way you can get a deal on the table. And I think that all Arab states will support this process. We have meetings that are upcoming of the Arab Peace Initiative Committee and of the Arab foreign ministers plenary. I think we’ve provided as much support and endorsement for the Palestinians to engage in this effort, and the Palestinians have been not only engaged, but extremely forthcoming. The atmospherics that we’re hearing about in these proximity talks provide a lot of room for hope and seem to be encouraging.
But I think what we need to refrain from now is unilateral action and provocation, whether it is in the form of deportations or evictions or demolitions or any unilateral action.
I think once direct negotiations resume, you’ll see an engagement by the overall Arab (inaudible) and the tangible support that you refer to. But let’s not put the cart before the horse. Let’s try to get the process going, not another open-ended process, not another timeless kind of engagement. We need to see benchmarks and we need to see traction on the ground.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you all very much.

I swear this woman gets more beautiful every day. Every time you think she has peaked, that it is not possible for her to look any more beautiful, the next day, she does!

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Remarks With Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh After Their Meeting

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Treaty Room
Washington, DC
January 8, 2010

SECRETARY CLINTON: Good morning, everyone. It is a personal pleasure and, of course, an honor to welcome back the foreign minister to the State Department, representing a country that is such a valued ally and partner of the United States. Over the past 10 years, His Majesty King Abdullah has carried on the vision and spirit not only of his late father but of the Jordanian people. And under King Abdullah’s leadership, Jordan has continued to be a key partner in the pursuit of peace and progress in the region and around the world.

So today, as we have in all of our previous meetings, the minister and I discussed a wide range of issues. I want to begin, though, by stating publicly what I had told the minister. I expressed both our condolence for the loss of life that was unfortunately both American and Jordanian, and I expressed appreciation for Jordan’s commitment to combating violent extremism at home and abroad.

This is a struggle that unites people of faith, people of peace, people of conscience everywhere. Terrorists have targeted our cities and our citizens and they must be met with unwavering resolve. I well remember visiting the hotels in Amman that had been bombed in 2005, walking through the wreckage, visiting the innocent children, men, and women who had been targeted at weddings. I will never forget what I saw there, as I will never forget what I have seen elsewhere. And the United States, Jordan, and our partners around the world stand shoulder-to-shoulder in this fight.

We also share a commitment to seeking a comprehensive peace in the Middle East based on a two-state solution. We are working with the Israelis, the Palestinian Authority, Jordan, and the Arab states to take the steps needed to re-launch negotiations as soon as possible and without preconditions, which is in the interests of everyone in the region. The United States believes that through good faith negotiations, the parties can mutually agree on an outcome which ends the conflict and reconciles the Palestinian goal of an independent and viable state based on the 1967 lines with agreed swaps, and the Israeli goal of a Jewish state with secure and recognized borders that reflect subsequent developments and meet Israeli security requirements.

Both the United States and Jordan are concerned about recent activities in Jerusalem. The United States recognizes that Jerusalem is a deeply important issue for Israelis and Palestinians, for Jews, Muslims, and Christians around the world. And we believe it is possible to realize the aspirations of both Israelis and Palestinians for Jerusalem and safeguard its status as a symbol of the three great religions for all people.

On this and other pressing challenges, the partnership between our countries provides a solid foundation for the pursuit of peace and progress. I look forward to continuing to work closely with the foreign minister, with Jordan’s new government, and with His Majesty as we broaden and deepen our partnership and our friendship.

FOREIGN MINISTER JUDEH: Thank you very much, Madame Secretary. The pleasure and honor are all mine. I am extremely happy to be here at the State Department again and to have this opportunity to have this overreaching exchange of views with Secretary Clinton. And I said back in August when I had the pleasure of seeing Secretary Clinton here that the relationship between Jordan and the United States can best be described as a true partnership, not just a friendship. And I think that this relationship has withstood the test of time and the numerous challenges that we’ve had in our part of the world and globally, and I think that the relationship gets stronger by the day.

This last year, Madame Secretary, we celebrated, as you well know, the 60th year of the exchange of diplomatic relations between Jordan and the United States, and again, this reflects the solid relationship that both countries enjoy. Our partnership is a strategic and solid one based on common values and a shared vision of a comprehensive lasting peace, coexistence, and prosperity in the Middle East, and our firm belief in combating the many challenges that we face around the world.

I thank you, Madame Secretary, for referring to the tragic loss of life that we saw in Afghanistan and, of course, elsewhere as a result of our ongoing and joint, in fact, collective global war on terrorism. Thank you for referring to the 2005 hotel bombings in Jordan. We must not forget that we too in Jordan were and are still a target, and that we will not waver or be deterred in our determination to combat terror, terrorism, and terrorists and – wherever they are. In 2005, we said very clearly that we will not wait for the terrorists to perpetrate their heinous crimes; we will try to uproot them before they get to the implementation stage of their planning.

And our presence in Afghanistan today is twofold: Number one, to combat terrorism and the root causes of terrorism, but also to help out in the humanitarian effort that is needed there. And I would like to say that our presence in Afghanistan will be enhanced and increased in the coming phase. This is something that is ongoing. Jordan was one of the first countries there. We are not only part of a network of countries that are trying to assist Afghanistan and Afghanis, but also trying to combat terror and terrorism. But we’re also there to defend Jordan’s national interests and defend – to defend Jordanians and safeguard them against this growing threat.

So, Madame Secretary, we continue to look forward to working with you and with other governments in combating terror and terrorism.

On the peace process in the Middle East, I had very good discussions with the Secretary, and this morning I had good discussions with Senator Mitchell as well, and their respective teams. And we agreed on the need to re-launch serious negotiations between Palestinians and Israelis, negotiations that are bound by a timeline and a clear plan with benchmarks to end this lingering conflict, to establish an independent sovereign and contiguous Palestinian state along the June ’67 lines in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem and Gaza living side-by-side with a safe and secure state of Israel.

It is also vital to achieve a comprehensive Arab-Israeli peace on the basis of the internationally agreed upon terms of reference and the Arab Peace Initiative that will ensure a secure and collaborative regional order. We are all in agreement that there are serious difficulties, but we hope that 2010 will see the continued and much needed leadership role that the United States can play in this regard.

And once again, I would like to remind of the important issues that we tackle – final status issues that include refugees and Jerusalem. Everything should be subject to negotiations. And when it comes to Jerusalem, as the Secretary very correctly pointed out, Jerusalem is potentially a flashpoint and it is so sensitive to all the followers of the three great monotheistic religions. But most importantly, actions on the ground in Jerusalem can turn into provocative and antagonizing actions to the followers of the three great religions. So it’s very important to try and avoid unilateral action in Jerusalem. Everybody is in agreement that Jerusalem is to be discussed in final status negotiations as – I’m talking about East Jerusalem, of course – as occupied Arab territory.

There is a growing sense of urgency to move forward in the talks and to achieve tangible progress, therefore creating a more enabling political environment that would allow us to address, collectively and more adequately, all the regional and global challenges before us today. Absent a successful resolution of the conflict, we will witness further regional instability and divisions that extremists will exploit not only in the Middle East, but worldwide. And I’ll refer to what I said earlier about the global war on terror.

As I told Madame Secretary, under the leadership of His Majesty King Abdullah II, Jordan is fully committed to working hand-in-hand with our partners in the region and ready to assist the United States in its efforts to achieve a regional peace, which is not only in the national interests of the Palestinians and the Israelis and the Arabs, but also of the United States of America. We will spare no effort in doing all we can to ensure the success of this endeavor and to fully support U.S. leadership and ensuring negotiations move fast towards reconciliation on the basis of the two-state solution as part of a comprehensive peace.

Thank you so much, Madame Secretary. I look forward to continuing our good work together in the future.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you, sir.

MR. CROWLEY: We have time for some questions. CNN.

QUESTION: Madame Secretary, if I could, a question on the terror report that the President got yesterday. In that report, it singles out what’s called the visa issue, and they point out that the fact that this suspect did not have a visa was not correlated to the information that his father gave – concerns about his son. And then also there was the issue of the misspelling of the name. How serious are these issues and what do you plan to do about them?

And just one quick one on the Middle East, if I could. Have you or are you willing to give guarantees to the Arab countries and to the Palestinians about the Obama Administration’s views on negotiations and also the settlement issues? Thank you.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, first, Jill, as to the report, I think that the President made it very clear in his remarks both before and again yesterday that we all are looking hard at what did happen in order to improve our procedures to avoid human errors, mistakes, oversights of any kind. We in the State Department are fully committed to accepting our responsibility for the mistakes that were made, and we’re going to be working hard with the rest of the Administration to improve every aspect of our efforts.

I think it is very clear from the President’s stated resolve that this is the highest priority not only for him but for all of us. The safety and security of the American people, of airline travel, will remain at the very top of our minds and our efforts. And we will be working with all of our other partners inside the government to do all that we humanly can to make sure that we prevent incidents like this and protect people.

With respect to the Middle East, we are absolutely committed and have been from the very first day of the Obama Administration to working with all of our partners. This negotiation is clearly about issues that most directly affect the Israelis and the Palestinians, but it is of great matter not just to the people of the region, not just to the Arab nations, but really to the entire world. There is a hunger for a resolution of this matter, a two-state solution that would rebuke the terrorists and the naysayers, that would give the Palestinians a legitimate state for their own aspirations and would give the Israelis the security they deserve to have.

So George Mitchell will be consulting, as he has been, very broadly not only in the region but in Europe and elsewhere. We are in constant close consultation with friends like our partners in Jordan. But this is a year of renewed commitment and increased effort toward what we see as an imperative goal for the region and the world.

QUESTION: Good morning to both of you. Madame Secretary, let me start with you. Senator Mitchell said yesterday – he talked about a two-year timeframe. Some news report talks about the first nine month will concentrate on borders and Jerusalem, and the refugees will be discussed later. Can you confirm this is the thinking of the Administration?

And secondly, the Palestinians saying that they are not going to come to the negotiation unless it is a total freeze on settlement, including Jerusalem. The Israeli ambassador, he is saying that basically they don’t believe in timeframe. How you are going to bridge the gap between the two sides?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I think what Senator Mitchell rightly said is that he wants to move as quickly as possible, that there is an urgency that we certainly feel, but there has to be a negotiation on all of the final status issues. And as Minister Judeh and I discussed earlier, resolving borders resolves settlements; resolving Jerusalem resolves settlements. So I think we need to lift our sights, and instead of being – looking down at the trees, we need to look at the forest. Where are we headed together? We know what a final resolution will have to include: borders, security, Jerusalem, refugees, water. We know what the elements of this two-state solution must include.

So I think Senator Mitchell was being very prudent in saying these are hard issues. They require a lot of back and forth between the parties, guarantees and assistance from the rest of us who are trying to move this forward. So it might take as much as the time he mentioned, but obviously we hope to be moving much more expeditiously. But first, we have to get negotiations re-launched. Nasser and I can stand here and talk about what we would like to see happen, but at the end of the day there are two parties that have to make it happen. So our goal is to persuade the two parties to get into this very in-depth negotiations on all of these issues as soon as possible.

QUESTION: Coming to the foreign minister on Afghanistan. You lost a member of the intelligence service and there is controversial issues about Humam al-Balawi. Can you just shed some light about him, whether he was a double agent or not and whether this were going to affect the sharing of intelligence between the United States and Jordan?

FOREIGN MINISTER JUDEH: May I start, first of all, by just picking up on the very positive statement that the Secretary of State has made on the pursuit of peace in the Middle East, and just say that in the final analysis, in the final analysis, time is of the essence. The President of the United States and the Secretary of State, from the beginning of 2009, expressed the sense of urgency and said that peace in the Middle East is U.S. national interest. Time is not on our side.

You asked about timeframes and setting deadlines and whether people agree or disagree. I think His Majesty King Abdullah II, the Secretary of State has said it before, Senator Mitchell has said it before, you cannot just have another open-ended process. Some deadlines have to be put on the table, and these deadlines help to serve the parties rather than present obstacles in the path towards peace. They help the parties put things in the right timeframe and the right perspective.

We’ve said it in the past: we’ve had too much process and not enough peace. What we don’t need in the region right now is another open-ended process that leaves issues unresolved and leaves loose ends without being tied. So it’s important. And yes, final status issues as the Secretary listed them are known to everybody, but if you sort out borders, if you resolve the question of borders, then you automatically resolve not only settlements in Jerusalem but you identify the nature on the ground of the two-state solution and how it looks like. And then all other things fit in place. That’s on the peace process, and I hope that with the many difficulties that we saw in 2009, and this is not the first year that we see difficulties, this is a 60-year-old conflict, we’re going to have difficulties and more difficulties, but our resolve should not be affected by this. We will have more difficulties, but let 2010 hopefully be the year of negotiations that lead to the establishment of the Palestinian state and security for Israel and peace for the entire region.

On Afghanistan, neither the Secretary nor I are intelligence officers. I’d like to think that we’re intelligent officers – (laughter) – but we’re not intelligence officers. And I can’t presume to speak on behalf of the Secretary, but I’ll speak for myself in saying that I am not at liberty to discuss intelligence operations or ongoing shared intelligence between like minded countries. However, I have said very clearly that in the global war on terror and terrorism, Jordan is at the forefront, and we’re there as part of that global network, and we’re also there to protect our national interest.

We were a target of terror and terrorism many decades ago, not just recently, and we’ve had to be not only creative but we’ve had to be extremely effective in our pursuit of those who want to do harm to our country and to our citizens. Most recently, in 2005 we had the hotel bombings, but let me not count the tens of attempts that were foiled or thwarted. And this is a result of our commitment and our ongoing operations, whether it is military personnel or intelligence work or whatever, or humanitarian work, because in our pursuit of terrorists we are saving humanity. And I think this is where the United States and Jordan and other like-minded countries are fully on board together.

We’re not just talking about counterterrorism. We’re not waiting for terrorists to carry out their plans. We’re talking about terrorism prevention. We’re talking about finding the root causes, finding the root of where terrorists plan and plot, and trying to stop them right there and then before they get to us and attack our citizens and our interests and kill innocent civilians.

So there is a Jordanian presence in Afghanistan. It’s been there for many years. Again, a humanitarian presence, a logistical presence, and intelligence operations to protect our own citizens and to prevent terrorists from carrying out their heinous crimes. And information is power, they used to say, but sharing information is also power, and I think that sharing information between like minded countries is just as effective in combating terror than – as combating terror directly.

QUESTION: Thank you very much.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you all very much.

FOREIGN MINISTER JUDEH: Thank you. I hope that wasn’t too long of an answer. (Laughter.)

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