Norwegian Ambassador to Amman Tone Allers reaffirmed the great friendship with Jordan as the two countries are celebrating the 50 years of bilateral diplomatic relations.
Marking 50 years of diplomatic ties, the ambassador said ongoing cooperation between Jordan and Norway has developed in various domains including the defense and combating terrorism and extremism fields, adding that the two countries are members of the " Global Coalition Against Daesh Terrorist Group".
In an interview with Jordan News Agency(Petra) on the occasion of the Norwegian National Day, the ambassador described the relationship between her country and the Kingdom as excellent and rapidly developing on various levels, based and supported by the distinguished relations between the two royal families in both countries.
"The Norwegian Embassy in Amman celebrates 25 years of its establishment, which is now Norway’s largest embassy in the region and grants visas to the Middle East and North Africa countries except for the gulf area.
"Due to strategic location, security and stability of the Kingdom, the Norwegian Embassy in Jordan has become the centerpiece of many projects and activities in the region," the envoy added
In 2018, Norway has provided Jordan with around $28 million to enable the Kingdom continue providing services to Syrian refugees and almost the same amount will be provided to Jordan this year, Allers said, stressing the important humanitarian role Jordan plays in receiving, hosting and providing services and needs to around 1.5 million Syrian refugees, which is highly respectful and appreciated by all.
Norway's support for Jordan is not limited to Syrian refugees, only but we also want to stress the importance of the host communities also benefit from this support, she said, adding that her country is working with International organizations and the United Nations and the Ministry of Education to support these communities."
" We have an ongoing dialogue with the Jordanian government and the donors to coordinate new mechanisms for support referring to the heavy burden borne by Jordan as a result of receiving the influx of Syrian refugees and its impact on the infrastructure, including hospitals, schools and other domains," the ambassador pointed out.
Allers highlighted the importance of the Sahara Forest project, which is supported by Norway, through which Red Sea water is desalinated using renewable energy and used to irrigate the neighboring desert areas in the Aqaba region to grow vegetables and other crops, pointing out that the project is implemented by Norway in cooperation with USAID and the European Union since 2017 and preparations for the second phase are ongoing and to attract investors.
Regarding the economic and trade cooperation between the two countries the Norwegian ambassador said although it is modest, but there are available possibilities to increase it especially after the establishment of a Jordanian embassy in Oslo in 2017.
"Due to the Syrian crisis and the situation in the region, the number of Norwegian tourists to Jordan has decreased, but there is a direct flight to Copenhagen which is an encouraging ground to increase the volume of tourism between the two countries, " the Norwegian envoy explained.
Allers expressed hope that the security situation in the region will stabilize, and will positively reflect on tourism especially in light of the abundance of Jordanian historical and civilization distinctive heritage.
There are Norwegian investments in Jordan in several fields, notably solar energy, she explained, adding there is ongoing cooperation, coordination and consultations with Jordan regarding developments in the region and issues of common concern.
The ambassador affirmed Norway's support for the peace process based on the two-state solution and her country's commitment to the Oslo Accords 1993.
The ambassador voiced concern over the financial situation of UNRWA and the decline of basic services offered to the Palestinian refugees, stressing her country's commitment to provide its annual financial obligations to this agency.
Last year, Norway has provided additional financial assistance, she explained, revealing that this year her country will keep supporting the UN body to enable it continue its important role in serving the Palestinian refugees.
Norway highly appreciates and supports Jordan's efforts aiming to mobilize support for UNRWA, stressing at the same time the importance of finding sustainable solutions to UNRWA's financial problem.
Allers touched on the importance of the recent visit of Crown Prince of Norway to Jordan and the visit of His Majesty King Abdullah II to Norway, highlighting the role of these royal visits in further enhancing future relations between her country and the Kingdom to achieve the aspirations of the two countries friendly peoples.