AMMAN — His Majesty King Abdullah on Wednesday reiterated his stand on the Palestinian issue, stressing “my position on Jerusalem is unwavering”.
“To me, Jerusalem is a red line, and all my people are with me,” King Abdullah said.
“We in Jordan have a historical duty towards Jerusalem and its holy sites,” the King told dignitaries of
During a visit to Zarqa to check on the governorate and the needs of its residents, His Majesty said: “No one can pressure Jordan on this matter, and the answer will be no. All Jordanians stand with me on Jerusalem. At the end of the day, Arabs and Muslims will stand with us as well.”
King Abdullah also stressed that any talk about an “alternative homeland” for Palestinians in Jordan is rejected.
“To anyone who speaks about an alternative homeland, the answer is no”, the King said.
Turning to Zarqa, King Abdullah praised its citizens and army personnel, “and my brothers whom I served with in the army in Zarqa. I am aware of the challenges here”.
“Zarqa is an important industrial city that has almost 50 per cent of the [Kingdom’s] businesses and national products and we need to work on attracting more investments to provide more work opportunities for the youth,” His Majesty added.
King Abdullah referred to the recent London initiative, describing it as a “new economic and development gate, which requires setting out our priorities to attract Arab and foreign investors to invest in Jordan in collaboration with the private sector”.
The King also addressed the environmental challenges facing Zarqa, stressing that “the issue of environmental pollution is not acceptable at all”.
“I have instructed the government to form a team that would be tasked with examining the polluted areas and coming up with a concrete solution as soon as possible,” His Majesty stressed.
King Abdullah also tackled the education challenges facing the governorate, instructing the government to allocate decentralisation funds for improving the education infrastructure.
“I know over a third of the schools here work double shifts, which affects students and teachers, and we will work on solving the problem by building more schools and solving the problem of rented school buildings,” the King said.
As for health services in the governorate, His Majesty said “there will be continuous coordination between the government and the Royal Medical Services”.
The King assured the gathering that a committee from the Royal Court will be visiting the governorate next week to follow up on citizens’ demands and “focus on the priorities”.
King Abdullah added that the government is also “responsible for finding solutions for the challenges and needs of the governorate”.
He also announced that the issue of indebted women, known as “gharimat”, will see “good news on Friday”.
Dozens of Jordanian women were imprisoned over the years for failing to pay debts they took from banks or other financial institution, mostly to start their own businesses or for other financial needs.
Several officials and citizens delivered speeches during the gathering, listing their needs and demands, which included coming up with programmes and projects that would combat unemployment among the youth.
The demands also included increasing the budget allocated for Zarqa Governorate, establishing a new military hospital and new parks and playing fields for youth and families.
Other demands focused on providing services for individuals with special needs and building a special industrial zone focused on manufacturing certain products with high international demand.
Several women also called during the meeting for providing small loans for women to start their own businesses and to focus on highlighting “women’s success stories to inspire the younger generation”.
By: Rana Husseini