Crown Prince meets Singapore PM, urges end to bloodshed in Gaza
His Royal Highness Crown Prince Al Hussein bin Abdullah II, during a meeting on Friday with Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, reaffirmed the deep-rooted strategic relations between the two countries, stressing the need to enhance cooperation in various areas, especially economic fields.
At the meeting held at Istana Palace, Crown Prince Al Hussein highlighted the importance of cooperation agreements between the two countries, some of which were exchanged during His Royal Highness’ visit.
The Crown Prince expressed appreciation of Singaporean institutions’ cooperation with Jordan in knowledge exchange in administrative reform, education, and technical and vocational training.
His Royal Highness noted the Singaporean government’s relief and humanitarian efforts in Gaza, stressing that Jordan continues to work towards regional peace and security, which cannot be reached without a just solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
For his part, the prime minister of Singapore commended the humanitarian efforts led by Jordan since the beginning of the war on Gaza.
His Royal Highness attended an official lunch hosted by the prime minister in his honour and in honour of the accompanying delegation, which was also attended by senior Singaporean officials.
In remarks at the lunch, His Royal Highness thanked Singapore’s government for the warm welcome and hospitality during his first official visit to Singapore.
His Royal Highness expressed pride in the growing strategic relations between the two countries over the past decades, noting that both Jordan and Singapore work towards the betterment and prosperity of their peoples.
The Crown Prince said the visit comes at a difficult and painful time for the region.
His Royal Highness noted “the heart-rending scenes coming out of Gaza, the massive loss of innocent lives, the unspeakable daily suffering, the deliberate destruction of not only the essential infrastructure, but also of culture, heritage and places of worship, not to mention the shattering of dreams and hopes of entire generations.”
“The bloodshed must cease. The suffering must end. The internally displaced must return. The deprived rights must be restored,” the Crown Prince said.
His Royal Highness continued, “These critical times require collective action and combined strengths towards the common good; a good that is achieved by equal and unselective adherence to international laws and norms. We are in dire need for voices of wisdom and empathy to prevail over those of division and apathy.”
The Crown Prince highlighted Jordan’s efforts, under the leadership of His Majesty King Abdullah, to keep the Palestinian issue an international priority.
His Royal highness referred to King Abdullah’s keynote address five years ago at the International Conference on Cohesive Societies in Singapore, in which His Majesty stressed that “core crisis of our region is the long denial of Palestinian statehood, and that the continuation of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict fuels global discord and radicalism.”
The Crown Prince reiterated that the two-state solution is the only solution to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, stressing that Jordan continues to exert all efforts to reach regional peace and security, along with its allies and friends.
His Royal Highness thanked the Singaporean government for voting in favour of the UN General Assembly resolution proposed by Jordan to stop the war on Gaza and impose an immediate and sustainable truce.
Turning to bilateral relations, the Crown Prince said he is happy to witness new opportunities for synergy and cooperation between Jordan and Singapore, reaffirming Jordan’s keenness to bolster knowledge exchange with Singapore and to learn from its experience.
Speaking at the official lunch, the prime minister commended the deep-rooted partnership between the two countries, noting that Jordan was one of four co-sponsors of Singapore’s application for UN membership when Singapore became independent in 1965.
“Singapore and Jordan signed a Free Trade Agreement in 2005, Singapore’s first with a country from the Middle East,” he added.
The prime minister highlighted the people-to-people ties and close cooperation between the two countries in higher education and vocational training, expressing Singapore’s keenness on expanding its partnership with Jordan.
He noted previous visits exchanged between the two countries, noting His Majesty’s most recent visit to Singapore in 2019, when the King delivered the keynote speech at the International Conference on Cohesive Societies.
“His Majesty spoke about the importance of interfaith dialogue as a key ingredient for building cohesive societies,” the prime minister said, adding, “His Majesty’s words deeply resonated with Singaporeans given our multi-racial and multi-ethnic society, where harmony and social cohesion are some cardinal values of the nation.”
Addressing the Crown Prince, he said “Your Royal Highness’ visit has strengthened our cooperation in several new areas,” noting the signing of several agreements in fields such as youth development, environmental management, vocational and technical training, and civil service training.
Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi, Minister of Digital Economy and Entrepreneurship Ahmad Hanandeh, Planning Minister Zeina Toukan, Jordan’s Ambassador to Singapore Samer Naber, and Director of the Office of the Crown Prince Zaid Baqain attended the meeting and the lunch.