Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier met his Jordanian colleague Nasser Judeh in Berlin on 8 October. Their talks focused on assistance for Syrian refugees in Jordan.
The fact that they have met so often during the last few months is, unfortunately, not only a reflection of the close relations between Germany and Jordan: Foreign Minister Steinmeier emphasised this when he welcomed his Jordanian counterpart Nasser Judeh to Berlin. Rather, he said, their regular meetings were also an indication of the “alarming number of international crises, especially the major crisis in the Middle East”.
Jordan finds itself in the midst of these crises: During the last few months, the Kingdom has taken in more than a million Syrian refugees – that amounts to more than 20% of its population and has placed an immense economic and social burden on the country. Steinmeier expressed his respect for Jordan’s considerable engagement in housing and providing basic necessities for the refugee families.
Refugee conference in Berlin
However, the Foreign Minister pointed out that respect alone was not enough: he commented that on top of the necessary relief supplies for the refugees, something had to be done to boost the stability of neighbouring countries. He added that this should be coordinated, inter alia, by the international refugee conference to be held in Berlin on 28 October, in which many countries had already confirmed they would participate.
Steinmeier expressed his grave concern about the situation in the Syrian town of Kobane, which is currently under siege by the Islamist terrorist group ISIS: “We have to acknowledge that we have not yet found the right means to bring the protracted war and civil strife in Syria to an end.” The Foreign Minister added:
The establishment of an international alliance was necessary in order to combat ISIS. However, it still cannot guarantee that we will succeed everywhere to the same degree and that the tide will soon turn.
Jordan’s Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh thanked Steinmeier in German for the warm welcome he had received in Berlin. He said that Germany and the Kingdom of Jordan were linked by excellent relations which had grown over the course of time.
Talking about the efforts to combat the ISIS terrorist militia, Nasser Judeh stated that Jordan wanted to “wage this war on several levels”: in addition to military means, it was important in the conflict with ISIS to also take action against those “who are trying to damage Islam’s image. For the Islamic State is neither a state nor does it represent Islam.”
Furthermore, ahead of the international conference in Egypt on Sunday (12 October) the two Ministers discussed the recent developments in the Middle East conflict.