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Jordan is the first country in the Middle East and North Africa to sign an agreement on the participation to the European Union crisis management operations, a statement to the great progresses achieved under the EU-Jordan partnership. High Representative Federica Mogherini and Jordanian Foreign Minister Safadi signed the Framework Participation Agreement before the plenary session of the EU-Jordan Association Council.
"Our work is definitely making things better than if it was not there," Mogherini said of the special partnership between the EU and Jordan. The Association Council was an occasion for the parties to express satisfaction with the progresses and focus on different areas of cooperation where concrete results are being achieved such as regional security, stability and counter-terrorism.
"We discussed at length our economic cooperation, in particular for job creation and opportunities for the younger population and the strengthening of the rule of law, human rights and democratic governance," she added.
The meeting was also an occasion to discuss regional affairs, including the situation in Syria with the follow up to the Brussels III Conference on the Future of Syria and the Region of March 2019. Jordan and the EU, the High Representative and Safadi said, also share a commitment to continue to support UNRWA. "I would like to thank personally Minister [Ayman] Safadi for his dedication to this work, as we see the work of the Agency as crucial for the security and the stability and peace in the region," Mogherini said.
The High Representative praised and thanked His Majesty King Abdullah II and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan for the special role as custodian of the Holy Sites. "This is particularly important for the European Union and we stand by Jordan in this important responsibility that His Majesty has," the High Representative said.
"For us there is no way in which any economic plan, as important as it can be, can substitute the political solution of this too long conflict that is not impossible to solve" High Representative Federica Mogherini said in reference to the proposal the US are elaborating for the Middle East Peace Process.
"We all know very well what the parameters are," the High Representative said talking of the two-state solution. "It requires political will and an international and regional environment conducive to the establishment of a Palestinian state living side by side with Israel in peace and security," Mogherini added.
The EU, Mogherini reminded the press, is already the largest contributor not only to the Palestinian Authority, but also to the projects that have been put in place for the Palestinians in the region, starting from UNRWA - the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East.
"There is no way in which we are going to substitute the kind of projects we are financing, especially with the lack of a clear political horizon," the High Representative said. "The economic support is no substitute for the political solution".
The High Representative discussed some elements of the economic part of the US plan during a visit by a delegation led by Senior Adviser to the President of the United States, Jared Kushner a few weeks ago in Brussels. The High Representative will be in Washington for meetings on Tuesday to discuss of the Middle East Peace Process among other things.
A delegation of the European Union will participate in the Manama conference, most likely at technical level to listen to the ideas being discussed. The participation does not infringe the EU commitment to a two-state solution, the High Representative highlighted.
Jordanian Foreign Minister Safadi said the EU and Jordan are closely aligned on the matter.