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Δευτέρα, 22 Δεκεμβρίου 2014

Η πρέσβης μας Μαρία Λουΐζα Μαρινάκη στην Ιορδανία αποσιώπησε το real estate των «φιλέτων» στον Ιορδάνη ποταμό. Η σκανδαλώδης ανάπτυξη της περιοχής προχώρησε με τους ρυθμούς και τον τρόπο που ο βασιλιάς της Ιορδανίας Αμπντάλα και ο πρίγκιπας Γάζι σχεδίασαν και επιθυμούσαν. Να παρέμβει η ελληνική δικαιοσύνη για το ξεπούλημα!


EMBASSY OF GREECE
IN AMMAN





Speech of H.E the Ambassador of Greece
to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan,
Ms Maria Louisa Marinakis
(Jordan University, 25/11/2014)


Mr. President,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is a great pleasure to be here with you this evening, honoring an invitation by the University of Jordan and especially the Department of International Relations to present to you an assessment of the Greek/ Jordanian relations as well as Greece’s foreign policy towards the Middle East.

The holding of this event points up to the shared interest to better inform each other , in order to be able to deepen our cooperation in areas of common interest. Let me start with a few points, which comprise the political framework of our bilateral relations:

 Greece values its strong historic relations with the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, with which it established diplomatic relations in 1966.

We attribute high value to the role of Jordan in the area of South Eastern Mediterranean, to which Greece also belongs, and commend His Majesty King Abdullah’s persistent and constructive efforts to advance regional   security, stability and moderation, aiming especially at the resolution of the central cause of the instability that ravages the entire region of West Asia, i.e. the Palestinian – Israeli conflict. In this we share the goal of a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East and an end to violent extremism that threatens the security of Jordan, the region and the entire globe.

The ongoing protracted crises will have, in our view, long term political, economic and social consequences not only for Syria and Iraq, but also for the neighboring countries and the region overall. It is a test to the response capacity of the international community, which cannot be addressed through the standard tools of aid response strategy. The strategy of international response has to integrate and articulate humanitarian, developmental and financial assistance instruments together and simultaneously.

We understand that Jordan is facing extremely delicate choices in order to meet challenges that emanate from security considerations and at the same time an evolutionary approach to needed political and economic reforms.

However, in our view, Jordan, as HM stated in the recent “Speech from the Throne”, should continue building a more consensual, inclusive, participatory and open political system, where all Jordanians feel represented, by amending accordingly the electoral legal framework and the political parties’ law, in order to enhance its strength to react to challenges.

Greece recognizes and appreciates the generosity and valuable contribution of Jordan in providing shelter to the people fleeing violence in Syria and in Iraq, but also in Libya; thus it has been advocating in all EU fora, the need for greater contributions to your country.

The EU and its member countries commend the open border policy that Jordan follows, which is considered essential to save the lives of all refugees, including Palestinians.

As the rotating Presidency of the EU during the first semester of 2014, Greece was mobilized and along with the other 27 member-countries agreed in doubling the humanitarian and developmental European assistance to Jordan, which reached 3 billion euros during the 2011-2014 period. It should be taken into consideration that the European Union (Commission and Member States) is the largest donor in the Syrian crisis.

Greece, despite the painful structural measures and adjustments is introducing in order to surpass the financial crisis, has offered up to date 250.00 euros in response to the Syrian refugees crisis. Furthermore, the bilateral developmental aid, offered to Jordan as grants, has reached the amount of 2.349.313 euros during the past five years.

We praise the historic role of HM as the Custodian of the Muslim and Christian sites in Jerusalem. We have repeatedly expressed the great importance we attach to the mission of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem. It is the oldest and one of the most prestigious institutions of Christianity, maintaining through the centuries its sacred tradition unchanged. It’s considered a living bond among Orthodox Christians and between the Greek and the Jordanian people as well as a stabilizing factor in the region. Greece is a committed supporter of Interfaith Dialogue, with the aim at contributing to the promotion of religious freedom, human rights and peace efforts in the Middle East. We were pleased to host, last year, a seminar in Thessaloniki, to promote and communicate the “Amman Message”, supporting, among other things, inter-religious Dialogue and contributing to the promotion of the true essence of Islam as well as to the promotion of human rights and fundamental freedoms worldwide.

It is in the context of excellent , strategic political relations that the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Mr. Nasser S. Judeh paid a working visit to Athens last June (10/6) and had consultations with his counterpart Mr. Evangelos Venizelos as well as with the Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs Mr. Dimitrios Kourkoulas.  

It should be stated that the visit took place while Greece was presiding over the EU, during the first semester of 2014.

Both sides asserted the fact that the existing contractual framework for the enhancement of our bilateral relations in the political, economic and cultural fields is rich, serving to the developing and deepening of the cooperation between the two countries on the basis of mutual respect, understanding and consideration of interests.

To give you an idea, the following agreements have been ratified up to date:
-       Agreement on  Civil Aviation cooperation (1968)
-       Agreement on economic, cultural and technical cooperation (1976)
-       Agreement on trade (1977)
-       Agreement on road transportation (1978)
-       Agreement on cooperation between the Ministries of Foreign Affairs (1995)
-       Agreement on maritime trade (1996)
-       Agreement on tourism cooperation (2005)
-       Agreement on mutual protection of investments (2005)
-       Agreement on  Scientific and Technological cooperation (2006)

In addition to those several MoU’s have been signed in the past (2006):
-       on cooperation between the Stock Exchanges of Thessaloniki and Amman
-       on cooperation of the two Institutes for Standards and Metrology
-       on cooperation between the Jordan Chamber of Commerce and its Greek counterpart EBEA
-       on cooperation among the Jordan Chamber of Industry and SEB, its Greek  counterpart
-       on cooperation among SEB and JEBA
-       on cooperation among NREC and KAPE (on renewables)

During the aforementioned visit of Minister Judeh to Greece, a new agreement was signed: that of the “Exemption from Visa Requirements for Holders of Diplomatic Passports, which entered into force last August. Allow me to underline that this move was followed by our efforts to promote, during our EU Presidency, a Mobility Agreement between the EU and Jordan. It was signed   last October.

 Furthermore, the Executive Program for Cultural, Educational and Scientific Cooperation for the years 2014-2016 was signed, as well as another MoU on cooperation on European Union issues. (2014)

In the context of the Executive Program for Cultural, Educational and Scientific Cooperation, on Monday 3/11, a Delegation from your esteemed University of Jordan had a fruitful working meeting in Greece with its counterparts from the University of Athens and the University of Piraeus. I hope and wish that this cooperation will also take advantage of the Erasmus and Tempus cooperation perspectives that the EU offers, to the benefit of young Jordanians, who constitute the “gold” of this country.

The two sides gave also emphasis to further strengthening the bilateral economic and trade exchanges.
- Greece is on the front line of global tourism industry. Greek professionals can contribute to tourism development in fraternal, since the Hellenistic times, Jordan, and especially in the sector of religious tourism. Currently, the tourism bilateral flows are growing, since, after many years of absence, last June the Greek air-carrier “Aegean Airways” started its direct flights from Athens to Amman in a very competitive round trip price (280JD’s), in comparison to Royal Jordanian’s fare. I am confident that the renewal of direct flights by the Greek company with cheap prices will bring our peoples closer in all possible fields, especially the younger ones. From our part we invite you to spend your next vacation in our beautiful country!
-Greek shipping, with our merchant fleet, can play a more active role in Jordan’s foreign trade.
- In recent years, Greek construction firms have turned with greater resolve towards markets abroad, and today they are carrying out major projects, including the new terminal of Amman airport (JP AVAX – member of the consortium), a new hydro/electric plant in Zarqa (METKA) or the GAM’s waste management (ELIAKTOR/  Konstantinides Companies), just to mention a few.
-Food, which is an important sector of Greek industry, offers opportunities for cooperation. Already fruits, olives, feta and kasseri cheeses, biscuits and honey have been appreciated by the Jordanian customers.
- The export of Greek marble and aluminium was met with interest by Jordanian   customers. Greek exporters realize the role of Jordan as a hub for exports in the wider region.
- Cooperation in the pharmaceutical field is also growing.
- Renewables is another sector where Greece has already experience. Just to let you know that it is the Greek office of the multinational Vestas, which has undertaken the implementation of the first big project on renewables underway in Tafileh. I wish that our cooperation in this major field for Jordan’s energy mixture will be expanded.

It would be a major lapse of mine not to mention the strategic cooperation – based on an annual program - among the two countries’ military forces, which constitutes the basis upon which our political relations were also enhanced. The close military cooperation extends the bilateral sphere and reaches NATO. Just to mention that  last May our then Minister of Defense Mr. Dimitris Avramopoulos paid a working visit to Amman (during SOFEX 2014), while very recently (9-11/11) the NATO Mediterranean Dialogue Policy Advisory Group Meeting was held in Athens and the distinguished Professor of Jordan University, Mr. Momani addressed the Group with his intervention.

 The human factor for the aforementioned cooperation was decisive. Since the 60’s approximately 2000 Jordanian students, mainly doctors, studied in Greek Military Schools as well as in other Greek Universities. During the current year 29 Jordanians pursue their studies in the Greek Military Schools. Many of the alumnis reached the top and served in the military and political strata of Jordan with success. Those are the real Ambassadors of Greece here in Jordan! Some of them married to Greek women and thus today the third generation of Greek/Jordanians grow both in Jordan and in Greece.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

As you are aware, Greece has successfully put the Economic Adjustment Program back on track by accelerating fiscal consolidation, improving competitiveness, adjusting current account balance and undertaking structural reforms in a wide range of areas. We are already talking about “Grecovery”, while we are still embattling with a high rate of unemployment (27%) and particularly youth unemployment (57%), the risk of social exclusion for 35% of the population, high interest rates for financing the economy and shortage of liquidity and bank lending, to mention a few of the remaining areas of great concern for all Greek citizens. However we are optimistic; the return of growth after six years of recession, the creation of jobs and the restoring of normal lending conditions are of paramount importance for both economic and social reasons.

The government is in talks with the lenders to exit its bailout package at the end of 2014, more than a year ahead of schedule. This year we expect a growth of 0,6% and 2,9% in 2015. The projections talk about a primary budget surplus of 1,5% of GDP this year, without ruling out a slight over performance. Greece is transiting to a new era with security, with defense against the movements of the market, profiteering.

The positive economic trend that I referred to has already marked our trade with Jordan. Greek exports to Jordan doubled during 2013, in comparison to the previous year, reaching 43,17 million US$ from 22,09 million US $ in 2012. The trend is also positive for this year. Please allow me to rejoice, since this amount of Greek exports is the highest in the past four years. However, I believe that there is an enormous space for development and we will work hard towards that end.

I would like to underline the fact never in the course of the past sixty years – since the end of the Civil War- has my country faced a confluence of challenges and problems comparable to that of the past six years.

•    The wider crisis of the European Union, not just as an economic crisis, but also as a crisis of political entity, which is fuelling various forms of euroscepticism.

•    New, powerful challenges to European security, which has been a Euroatlantic issue not only since the Second World War and the start of the Cold War, but since the middle of World War I; that is, for nearly a century.

•    The opening of a large range of crises in the EU’s southern and eastern neighborhoods; crises that perhaps emit more energy, cumulatively, than the breakup of the Soviet Union, the breakup of Yugoslavia, and the Arab Spring.

The strategic priorities of Greek foreign, security and defense policy – in the midst of these often contradictory national, regional and international conditions – were and continue to be:

First, to keep the economic crisis from being converted into leverage for pressuring our country into adapting or backing down on the range of our national issues (Cyprus issue, Greek-Turkish relations in the Aegean and the Eastern Mediterranean, FYROM name issue, and so on).

Second, to formulate a Greek stance on all of the individual regional and international crises that is compatible with the country’s capacity as a member of the EU and NATO, with the need to respect international legality, with our country’s multiple regional identities (Balkan, Mediterranean, Black Sea), and with the country’s traditional and more recent choices regarding the forming of strong strategic partnerships (as with Egypt and Israel), while at the same time shaping, or at least maintaining, the best possible balance of power with regard to the aforementioned national issues.

The experience of the economic crisis that called into question the post-dictatorship policy should not make us to underestimate this political acquis, which, paradoxically, is not visible to the naked eye: the high degree of consensus that was shaped with regard to the fundamental choices of the country’s foreign policy and its security and defense policy.

Fortunately, despite the fact that the artificial distinction between the so-called pro-memorandum and anti-memorandum forces vitiated the conditions for basic consensus with regard to the national strategic management of the economic crisis and the exiting of the crisis, the formulated framework for consensus on foreign policy – and particularly on the country’s basic positions on the list of national issues – was not impacted catalytically.

It really isn’t easy to explain to someone why the country’s stance on the Syrian civil war or the Ukrainian crisis bears on the Cyprus issue or the situation in the Aegean and the Eastern Mediterranean. But as soon as the issue is posed from the point of view of Turkish policy, it becomes much easier to see, for example, the probable interrelation between the international alliance against ISIS and the provocations in the Cypriot EEZ and continental shelf.

True patriotism is founded only on thorough knowledge of history and impartial evaluation of the balance of power. But constant close attention is required, because fixations and stereotypes can insinuate themselves into the narrative at any time. The pending crises in the Middle East and North Africa have in their background the historical pending issues of the interwar period, regarding the drawing of borders and formulation of the notion of statehood.

Also in their background is the hard-to-admit dilemma between democracy and rule of law, on the one hand, and security, on the other. The crisis in Ukraine and in the relations between Russia and the West have necessitated a reassessment of the functionality of many international institutions, from the UN Security Council to the OSCE, while also pointing up the EU’s limits as an self-contained political entity.

The manner in which the Republic of Cyprus, in close cooperation with Greece, is handling the ongoing Turkish provocation in the Cypriot EEZ and continental shelf, and the manner in which the trilateral cooperation between Egypt, Cyprus and Greece is evolving are two good examples of what I mean.

Political analysts argue that the crises in the Middle East & the Eastern Mediterranean emanate from an undeclared competition on who will exploit the region’s rich energy resources. Therefore, let me also talk about Greece’s energy policy.

There is a particular emphasis on hydrocarbon exploration in Greece, as the country endeavors to develop its domestic resources in an effort to enhance its own energy security and that of the wider region. In the oil sector we are monitoring the course of the two International Rounds of Concessions: the first concerns the 20 offshore fields in the regions of the Ionian Sea and south of Crete and the second the three continental areas in Western Greece. In the natural gas sector, Greece wants to emerge as a transit hub (natural gas pipelines, LNG terminals). Of primary importance is the Southern Corridor, which is a major component of the EU’s energy policy. It includes the South Caucus Pipeline (SCP), the Trans-Anatolian pipeline (TANAP) and the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP), carrying natural gas from the Caspian (Shah Deniz deposit) to the European market, via Georgia, Turkey, Greece and Albania. At the same time, Greece is monitoring the developments in the Eastern Mediterranean, following the discovery of natural gas deposits in the offshore region between Cyprus and Israel. Our country is promoting the idea of constructing the EastMed pipeline, which would carry quantities of natural gas from the Levantine basin to Western Europe (Southern Italy), via Crete and mainland Greece, and the relevant study is already being carried out. We are also working on the gas interconnector Greece-Bulgaria (IGB pipeline), which is slated for completion within 2017 and has been designed with reverse flow capability. The overall planning that will render Greece a transit hub is supplemented by the Revithoussa liquefied natural gas (LNG) regasification terminal, which has operated without interruption since early 2000. Two other constructions are underway: a) the construction of floating LNG regasification terminal in Kavala and Alexandroupoli and b) the Independent Natural Gas System of Alexandroupoli.

Through trilateral meetings that took place recently between Greece , Cyprus and Egypt (and Greece , Cyprus and Israel in the pipeline),  we underlined the Governments’ commitment and respect to the international law, including the UN Convention of the Law of the Sea, to which all above referred countries are State – Parties. We deplored the recent illegal actions perpetrated within Cyprus’ EEZ, as well as the unauthorized seismic operations being conducted therein. We stressed the importance of respect for the sovereign rights and jurisdiction of the Republic of Cyprus over its EEZ and called on Turkey to cease all seismic survey operations underway within the maritime zones of Cyprus.

We believe that the discovery of important hydrocarbons reserves in Eastern Mediterranean could and should serve as a catalyst for a broader cooperation on a regional level, contributing thus to the peace and stability in the region.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Let me briefly touch upon our Middle East Policy:

Greece has supported Secretary Kerry’s efforts all along, in its conviction that negotiations are the best way forward. The clear message of Greece and the EU concerning the MEPP and all sides is for maximum restraint and to refrain from actions (such as settlement expansion) that may further undermine peace efforts and the violability of the two-state solution. We do recognize the crucial role of Jordan in the efforts of resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the Custodianship of HM to the Holy sites of Jerusalem. We believe that it is too dangerous for the conflict to take a religious shift.

In Syria, we agree that the political solution is the only viable one. In this war of attrition, the real victims are the people. The spill-over effect is increasing, while political and social stability in the neighboring countries is at risk. The international community should examine all possibilities and undertake any effort for the resumption of talks and for a political agreement on a way out of the crisis.

In Iraq, we would like seeing the policy of all inclusiveness succeeding and the jihadists repelled back by the coalition. We call on all members of the international community and particularly the wider region to actively join the global campaign against terrorism and Da’esh/ ISIL, so that the perpetrators of heinous crimes can be brought to justice and cease to constitute a threat to the security and prosperity of the residents of the region and beyond. We do take very seriously the spill over effect of foreign fighters returning back home and causing instability.

We track with serious concern the situation of the Christian communities in the region. We commend Jordan’s commitment to further strengthen relations between Christians and Muslims for the development of a friendly, harmonious and peaceful society. The Jordanian model of coexistence and fraternity between Muslims and Christians, focusing on education, in order to avoid isolation between followers of different religions, is an important and significant example.

Concerning negotiations on Iran’s nuclear program: we believe that the final settlement of the issue will certainly contribute to stability in the wider area, while improving the economic and business environment.

                              **************************************************

In this time of turbulence in our shared neighborhood, the South/Eastern Mediterranean, Greece is emerging from the economic crisis and continuing in its role as an anchor of stability and a reliable western partner for Jordan in the region. I would like to assure you that my country remains committed to further strengthening and deepening its relations with the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. We have seen a number of Agreements and bilateral visits in the near past. We are committed to maintaining the growth momentum in our friendship and partnership in all international fora. Such relations in our region are scarce and therefore vital for both our countries. I believe that this was the conviction of our President of the Republic Mr. Karolos Papoulias, when in January 2013 he addressed an invitation to His Majesty to pay an official visit to Greece. The visit is still pending, but   we hope that it will take place in the near future.

I am proud to be Greek. I am proud for what my country offered and continues to offer to the Western civilization. Therefore, I would like to conclude my intervention  with a cultural nuance, through a small , but very clever - I found- video, referring to our well known demand for the re-unification of the Parthenon Marbles, which will bring you for a moment to Athens (in Greek with English subtitles).

Thank you for your attention!

Πηγή: mfa.gr

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