"Jordan is the Island for Stability and Tolerance," Alexander Lambsdorff

Free Democratic Party Members of the Bundestag visit to Jordan
News20.09.2019Hend Shaheen and Dirk Kunze
Lambsdorff and Beek with Jordanian Speaker of the Parliament Atef Tarawneh
Lambsdorff and Beek with Jordanian Speaker of the Parliament Atef Tarawneh

Alexander Graf Lambsdorff and Olaf in der Beek, German politicians of the Free Democratic Party of Germany (FDP) and members of the Bundestag, have visited Jordan earlier this week. At the brink of the elections in Israel, the two-day visit of the foreign policy experts aimed to familiarize themselves with specifics about the role of Jordan in the Palestinian-Israeli relations, get insides about the challenges in relation to the refugee situation in Jordan and EU-Jordan Compact.

 

Jordan as a stabilizer in a volatile region

Jordan is located on the edge between order and chaos. The kingdom’s volatile geopolitical position in a very unpredictable region, its borders with Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Israel and the Palestinian territories affect all sectors of the society, its economy and internal politics.

With the aim to get a first-hand impression of the status quo and discuss the current economic and political challenges, Alexander Graf Lambsdorff and Olaf in der Beek, visited Jordan this week. Among other background talks, they met with the speaker of the Parliament of Jordan, Mr. Atef Tarawneh and H.E Mr. Mousa Maaytah, Minister of Parliamentarian and Political Affairs. The visit of the FDP MPs delegation was highlighted in the Jordanian official news outliet 'Petra News' and many others.

Many of the discussions tackled the future of Syria and the future role of Jordan as an “anchor for stability and tolerance”, according to Lambsdorff. It became clear that Jordan played a neutral and supportive political role for peace since the beginning of the Syrian crisis, while maintaining a humanitarian role in hosting more than 650 thousand Syrian refugees.

The American peace proposal to resolve the Israeli–Palestinian conflict was also discussed widely. The “Trump peace plan”, also known as the “Deal of the century”, has huge implications on Jordan and is therefore considered an internal issue by Jordanian politicians. With the high concerns regarding the proposed application of Israeli sovereignty over the Jordan Valley, it was mentioned that Jordanians are highly attentive to the results of the Israeli elections, which took place this week as well. At the day of the Israeli elections, His Majesty King Abdullah was in Germany where he described the Israeli statement on annexing the Jordan Valley as a disaster.

The Jordanian politicians reiterated for logistic support and lobbying from Germany and the European Union to help the stabilizing Jordan.

Syrian refugees in Jordan and situational updates

The FDP delegation also visited al-Azraq refugee camp, located in north Jordan, to meet with UNHCR representatives and discuss the conditions of Syrian refugees. The camp hosts around 40 thousands refugees, 60% of which are children. With about 27 new-born per week and 9500 school children, this place of refuge left an impactful impression on the German politicians as it showed the magnitude of challenges in the region.

 

While Jordan and Germany currently celebrate 60 years of cooperation, this visit was an important part to emphasize the tight German-Jordanian cooperation on the political level and where the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom facilitates dialogue between liberal actors in both countries.

About Alexander Graf Lambsdorff

Alexander Graf Lambsdorff is a German politician of the Free Democratic Party of Germany, part of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe. He has served as a Member of the Bundestag (MP), currently the vice chair of FDP in Bundestag and Member of the European Parliament (MEP) from Germany.

About Olaf in der Beek

Olaf in the Beek is an FDP politician and since 2017 a member of the German Bundestag. He is a member of the FDP’s Development Committee. He is also a member of the Environment Committee and a deputy member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs.