Our Islamic country is home to a 2,000-year-old
Arab Christian community. Together, our people are as one
in contributing to the vitality, peace, and future of our
Jordan’s constitutional freedom
of religion expresses core Arab-Islamic values – a
calling to peace; respect for others; the commandment to
social justice. This is the voice of Islam as it has been
taught and practiced for over a thousand years, and it is
the opposite of the ignorant ideology of hate shouted by
today’s extremist elements. Today, the majority of
Muslims are determined to reclaim their historic faith.
The “Amman Message,” issued last November, restates
Islam’s teachings regarding humility before God, the
equal dignity of all people, compassion, and pluralism;
and it denounces extremism and terrorism as deviations from
Islam and transgressions against God.
This effort and others seek to unite the
voices of moderation, who are the vast majority of Muslims,
here in Italy, in Jordan, and all over the world. Leading
Muslim clerics in Europe and the Middle East have decisively
condemned terror, expressing the duty of Muslims to act
to protect the innocent. In July, Jordan hosted the first
International Islamic Conference. It welcomed more than
170 scholars and experts, Sunni and Shi’a, from more
than 40 countries, including Europe. Delegates affirmed
the core values expressed in the Amman Message, and took
measures to end abuses of our faith.
Islam does not isolate its believers behind
hate and division. It encourages our people to partner with
all humanity in global progress and peace. Jordan has made
that commitment. Our country has played a leading role in
regional peace efforts, and we are pleased that Italy has
supported our constructive role. Today, with Italian support
through the Quartet and G-8, a roadmap for peace in the
Arab-Israeli conflict exists. Based on the breakthrough
peace initiatives by Arab nations at the Beirut Summit of
2002, the roadmap provides for a comprehensive, two-state
solution, the only kind of peace that can endure: a sovereign,
democratic and viable Palestine; security guarantees for
Israel; and a process that leads to a comprehensive settlement
that addresses the Syrian and Lebanese tracks. We must not
allow the enemies of peace to stop this critical effort.
Jordan and Italy are also working together
for other regional goals. Both our nations are committed
to security and normalization for Iraq, and in that effort,
Jordanians have deeply felt your nation’s noble sacrifices.
We are also cooperating in regional reform and development.
It is critical to global peace that the people of the Middle
East, especially our young people, can share in this century’s
promise of freedom and prosperity. To this end, Jordan has
worked to establish an unprecedented model for regional
reform and progress. We are making structural changes to
build democratic political life, entrench human rights,
and provide access to opportunity at every level of society.
In the economy, we have encouraged innovation, and strengthened
the educational and social infrastructure to promote development
and growth. Italy has been a priority trading partner, and
we are grateful for your country’s sustained support
for development in our country and region. Italy has also
played a tremendously important role in the U.N. and the
G-8, supporting international assistance and debt relief
for middle-income countries, like Jordan, which are proving
their will to move forward.
To achieve the positive global change
that both our nations want, we must work together. The partnership
between Jordan and Italy reflects a friendship of shared
ideals as well as a common future. I believe that working
together, we can help achieve the peace and security that
our nations, and all people, need and deserve.