King Abdullah II of Jordan was welcomed on his visit to the European Parliament by president Martin Schulz, who said the monarch's country enjoyed a "deep friendship" with the EU and played a vital role in a turbulent region. The King talked about how the Arab Spring had led to changes in Jordan during his address to MEPs in a packed Strasbourg chamber on Wednesday 18 April 2012.
"We've embraced the Arab spring as an opportunity," King Abdullah II of Jordan said, pointing out that Jordan had reformed its constitution. He explained that through democratisation, economic and political reforms, Jordan aims to be a haven in a turbulent region.
Jordan faces today its highest unemployment rate ever and the King underlined the importance of change for the so-called " generation in waiting ". He said a long spring is unfolding in Arab countries and "the Arab world is awake".
Turning to the Israel/Palestine question, the King declared that the only possible solution for a final settlement is for the two states to live side by side in peace. "We cannot afford one more generation kept waiting for a Palestinian state," he said.
Concluding his third official visit to the EP, King Abdullah II of Jordan declared that the EU is a vital partner and that "together we have the will and the wisdom to succeed". MEPs responded to the speech with a standing ovation.