Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton met today with Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh at the State Department in Washington, DC. After their meeting, Secretary Clinton said:
"...Before I talk about our meeting today, I want to say a word about the protests taking place in Cairo and other Egyptian cities. As we monitor this situation carefully, we call on all parties to exercise restraint and refrain from violence. We support the universal rights of the Egyptian people, including the rights to freedom of expression, association, and assembly. And we urge the Egyptian authorities not to prevent peaceful protests or block communications, including on social media sites.
"We believe strongly that the Egyptian Government has an important opportunity at this moment in time to implement political, economic, and social reforms to respond to the legitimate needs and interests of the Egyptian people. The United States is committed to working with Egypt and with the Egyptian people to advance such goals. As I said recently in Doha, people across the Middle East, like people everywhere, are seeking a chance to contribute and have a role in the decisions that affect their lives. And as the President said in his State of the Union yesterday night, the United States supports the democratic aspirations of all people.
"When I was recently in the region, I met with a wide range of civil society groups, and I heard firsthand about their ideas, which were aimed at improving their countries, of giving more space and voice to the aspirations for the future. We have consistently raised with the Egyptian Government over many years, as well as other governments in the region, the need for reform and greater openness and participation in order to provide a better life, a better future, for the people.
"And for me, talking with the foreign minister from Jordan is always a special experience because of all the work that is being done in Jordon. On every occasion when we meet, it reflects our longstanding friendship and the mutual goals that we share between Jordanians and Americans. And I especially appreciate and respect his counsel. The United States has had a long, close relationship with Jordan for many decades. We value Jordan's guidance in the region, and today we spoke at length about many of the issues.
"We spoke about Lebanon and expressed our hopes that it will be the people of Lebanon themselves, not outside forces, that will sustain the independence and sovereignty of Lebanon. I know that the foreign minister and His Majesty share our concern about peace and stability in the region. And I commend his call for Lebanon to maintain its national unity, security, and stability.
"Jordan has developed important relationships with many critical countries and has built a unique and respected position as a peace broker among diverse parties. It was a critical player in the creation of the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative, which brought 57 Muslim states together to advocate a comprehensive peace between Israel and all Arab states. Jordanian peacekeeping troops have served in far-flung places around the world, including Haiti, Sudan, and Cote d'Ivoire. And earlier this month, the Jordanian prime minister, accompanied by Foreign Minister Judeh, led the very first visit by a head of government to meet with the newly elected government in Iraq.
"For both our nations, permanent peace in the Middle East remains our number one priority. So much of our discussion centered on ways to keep working toward a two-state solution that will assure security for Israel and realize the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people for a state of their own. Such an agreement, Jordan and the United States believe, will not only bring peace and prosperity to those who are directly affected, but it will be a major step toward a world free of extremism. Jordan's tireless diplomacy has been, and continues to be, indispensible to this process.
"Now, we talked about many other things: water shortages, rising food and oil prices, the need for continuing social and economic reform. And Jordan has taken crucial steps to do just that. I was very proud to have the foreign minister here when we announced the Millennium Challenge Corporation grant. Jordan met the very high standards of the MCC on these social and political and governance indicators. And that compact committed $275 million for sustainable development, jobs, and safe drinking water. It was a vote of confidence in the path that His Majesty is pursuing. And last November, the government invited international observers to monitor its parliamentary elections, and these observers declared the process to be peaceful, fair, and transparent.
"Jordan is setting a great example, and we are proud to be your partner and your friend. Sixty years of mutual respect, common security interests, and shared values has built a strong and enduring relationship, and we continue to look for Jordan to lead further progress in the region as we meet the challenges ahead."
You can read the Secretary's full remarks with Foreign Minister Judeh here.