The President of the Socialist International, George Papandreou, during a working visit to Jordan, was received on Monday 2nd of June, in Amman, by His Majesty the King Abdallah II. The King reviewed the repercussions of the crisis in Syria on neighbouring countries, mainly on Jordan.
George Papandreou underlined the key role of Jordan for stability in the broader region and praised the contribution of King Abdallah in the efforts to address political and humanitarian problems created by the civil war in Syria. He also stated that there is an urgent need for additional assistance from the international community to support Jordan in the Herculean task of addressing the needs of the 1.200.000 refugees coming from Syria.
Approximately 20% of the refugees are in camps and the remaining 80% are living in host communities mainly in the North of the country creating a big pressure on existing infrastructures but also on the health and education systems.
During his stay, George Papandreou had the opportunity to discuss in depth the security issues created by the instability in the region with the Minister of Interior, Hussein Al Majali. He also exchanged views on the importance of a productive international humanitarian and development assistance in lasting crisis, like the one in Syria, with the Minister of Planning and International Cooperation Dr. Ibrahim Saif. Regarding issues related with the reception, hosting and support of the refugees from Syria, he had extensive briefings from the Representative of UNHCR Andrew Harper, as well as from the Chief of Mission of the IOM Davide Terzi and the Country Director of Mercy Corps, Robert Maroni.
George Papandreou attended also a working lunch hosted by His Eminence the Metropolitan of Philadelphia Benedictos, focusing on the challenges faced by the Christian communities in the region and the contribution of religious diplomacy to peace.
On Tuesday, 3rd of June, the President of the Socialist International was received by the Foreign Minister of Jordan, Mr Nasser Judeh, with whom he discussed recent developments in the Middle East and Syria.
The President of the Socialist International met also with the Speaker of the House of Representatives Eng. Atef Tarawneh, who briefed him on projected reforms aiming on the modernization of the Jordanian electoral system.
George Papandreou, during his visit to Jordan, visited the Al Azraq Refugee Camp. Al Azraq is considered a model, by international standards, in terms of facilities and innovative management, Jordan authorities in collaboration with UNHCR, taking into account previous experiences, created with the contribution of the international community, hospitality units that can provide a decent way of life to the refugees including schools, health centers and children playgrounds.