Bilateral ties could be intensified by joint economic projects

Interview with H.E. Mr. Rasem Yacoub Hashem, Jordanian Ambassador to Romania.

Excellency, how do you see the evolution of political relations between Romania and Jordan?

Allow me to start by thanking Nine O’Clock daily for the kind opportunity offered to me to speak to Romanian readers about some aspects of the relations between Jordan and Romania and to present the most important measures taken by Jordan to make our economy more resilient in the face of the global economic crisis.

Political relations between Jordan and Romania have always enjoyed a positive evolution as both countries have shared similar ideas and opinions about the Middle East peace process and the efforts made for settling the main issue, namely the Palestinian problem and the establishment of a Palestinian independent state.

These aspects have been discussed by His Majesty King Abdullah II and H.E. President Traian Basescu during official visits, beside other topics related to the current state of affairs worldwide and their implications on both countries. Jordanian-Romanian dialogue is aimed at conferring new dimensions to bilateral relations in politics and to intensifying bilateral consultations on UN topics in the context of the new status of Romania as EU and NATO member.

What is the stage of bilateral economic and commercial partnership? Did the present economic crisis influence commercial relations between Romania and Jordan?

The current international crisis had its toll on the economies of almost all countries of the world and is threatening to undermine all the gains we achieved from the reform measures we adopted during the previous years. Hence, this crisis brought up an urgent need for all countries, and for Jordan also, to undertake measures individually and collectively to strengthen their economies.

Economic relations between Jordan and Romania were very good and fruitful in the past and nowadays efforts are made on both sides to enhance, develop and diversify these relations in many economic projects. Given the fact that after 1990, commercial exchanges did not have a very encouraging evolution as they did not exceed USD 45 M per year and the structure of exports did not reflect the absorption capacity of the Jordanian market, both countries have to intensify their cooperation ties by developing joint projects in fields of mutual interests such as agriculture, infrastructure, renewable energy etc.

These aspects and intentions have been mentioned by the economic delegations and dignitaries of both countries during their official visits and they enjoy the full support of the two countries’ leaders.

What can you tell us about bilateral tourist contacts? Are they developed to the full extent?

Within the cooperation between the two countries, tourist exchanges have known a steady development given the picturesque diversity of the two countries and of the travel facilities granted to both Jordanian and Romanian tourists, as well.

Being a country of diversity, tourists can find a wide variety of choices in Jordan; from the port of Aqaba until Azraq Oasis the traveler is charmed by the presence in day to day life of Arab traditions and by the variety and diversity of cultures and civilisations that passed and lived on the territory of Jordan during its long history.

The people who traveled to Jordan are impressed by the hospitality and the friendliness of the Jordanians and by their readiness to make their stay in Jordan as agreeable as possible.

Jordanian and Romanian cultures are essentially different, but the intercultural potential is huge. What significant intercultural projects and events have been noted in the relations between the two countries? Can you mention any intention for such project in the future?

Romanian-Jordanian cultural relations are developing within the framework of the agreement of cultural and scientific cooperation signed on April 6, 1975 in Amman and renewed over the years. According to the agreement, the two sides signed executive programmes for cultural exchanges valid for three years; for the time being the executive cultural programme is for the period 2009-2012.

Within the executive cultural programme, the two sides offered each other, on mutual basis, annual scholarships for university and post academic studies in diverse areas. Over the years, approximately 11,000 Jordanians got their training in Romania and some of them hold sound social positions in various fields of activity in Jordan.

How would you describe Romania in few words? What are the strong and weak points you have noticed in Romania, during your three-year mission here?

I have served as ambassador of my country to Romania for the past three years. During this period I have enjoyed the hospitality and friendliness of the Romanian people and the kind assistance of Romanian officials.

During this period I have found great similarities between the two nations, namely: in habits, family ties, customs and even climate conditions. I realised that this explains the great number of mixed families existing in Jordan and Romania. I have noticed that Romanians are open-minded people with no racist feelings against Arabs and with a great ability to make good things for the progress of their country.

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