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FM, Italian counterpart vow to further advance bilateral cooperation

AMMAN — Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi on Saturday met Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Luigi Di Maio, over discussions focused on activating the two countries’ cooperation and regional developments.

Safadi and Di Maio stressed their countries’ keenness on pushing forward cooperation in various fields, according to a ministry statement, with the two top diplomats agreeing on forming a follow-up team from the two ministries to identify specific areas for cooperation and set the necessary programmes to be implemented as soon as possible.

The two sides have given priority to food security and agriculture. 

Discussions also referred to the Italian Development Assistance Programme for 2021-2023, as well as the draft framework agreement on it, under which Italy will provide Jordan with 235 million euros as grants and soft loans, with the sectors that will receive support to be identified, the statement said, pointing out that the framework agreement will be signed in the near future.

The two top officials also reviewed efforts exerted about regional crises, the foremost of which the Palestinian cause, as well as Syrian and Libyan crises and counterterrorism. 

Safadi emphasised the centrality of the Palestinian cause, calling for scaling up efforts to relaunch “serious” negotiations to reach the two-state solution. He warned against Israeli unlawful measures, mainly settlement, annexation of lands, demolition of houses that undermine the two-state solution and all opportunities for a just and comprehensive peace. 

The two sides also emphasised the necessity of underpinning Iraq’s efforts to maintain its stability and sovereignty over its territories.

In joint press remarks, Safadi welcomed the Italian official, who is visiting the Kingdom for the first time, expressing thanks for Italy’s assistance and support to the Kingdom’s economic development programmes.

Safadi also valued Italy’s supportive stance to the two-state solution, highlighting the European country’s efforts aimed at moving the peace process forward.

Highlighting the role of UNRWA in providing support for more than five million refugees, Safadi called for scaling up efforts towards bridging the refugee agency's deficit.

The Italian official reiterated his country’s commitment to supporting the Kingdom, highlighting the support made in 2020 during the Brussels Conference, expressing appreciation of the Kingdom’s modest policies and its vital regional role, notably Amman’s anti-terrorism efforts. 

Jordan has set an example in coexistence, he said, pointing out that Jordan is an “essential” partner for Italy.

Di Maio also highlighted the two countries common stances over the regional issues, including the peace process and the two-state solution, pointing out that the recent normalisation agreements signed with Israel, which have been welcomed by Italy, are not an alternative to peace that must be achieved.

Iraq is one of the priorities of Italy’s foreign policy, he added.

On the Libyan issue, he affirmed his country’s support to the outcomes of the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum.

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