Volume 15, issue 11, November 2013

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Franco Jordanian News



President Hollande in Jordan

The President Mr Hollande and Ms Valérie Trierweiler have made ​​a trip to Jordan June 23, 2013.

The President of the Republic and Mrs. Trierweiler were received by His Majesty King Abdullah II and Her Majesty Queen Rania.

Trade between His Majesty the King and the President of the Republic has focused in particular on the regional situation and the development of bilateral relations.


Déplacement du Président de la République à Amman (23/06/2013)

Watch the video of the press conference given by H.E. Mr. Hollande 


Also watch the speech of the president during the dinner given in his honour by His Majesty King Abdallah.



                        14 Juillet or Bastille day as it is known 
            in English speaking countries is French National Day


The Bastille is a medieval fortress and prison in Paris. Many people in France associated it with the harsh rule of the Bourbon monarchy in the late 1700s. On July 14, 1789, troops stormed the Bastille. This was a pivotal event at the beginning of the French Revolution. Fête de la Fédération was held on July 14, 1790. This was a way to celebrate the establishment of a constitutional monarchy in France.

Official celebrations were held in Paris on June 30, 1878, to honor the Republic of France. On July 14, 1879, more official celebrations were held. These included a military review in Longchamp near Paris and celebrations all over the country. A politician named Benjamin Raspail proposed that July 14 should become a holiday in France in 1880. The law was enacted on July 6, 1880. Bastille Day was a public holiday for the first time on July 14, 1880.

The military parade in Paris has been held every year since 1880, except during World War II. The Free French Forces paraded on this date in London, England from 1940 until 1944. Jean Michel Jarre held a concert in Paris that attracted one million people, then the largest recorded crowd at an outdoor concert, in 1979. Special celebrations were held for the 200th anniversary of the French revolution in 1989. The French football team became world champions on July 12, 1998. This sparked celebrations throughout France on Bastille Day.

The Embassy of France in Amman celebrated on July 14 the French National Day. Many partners of the embassy, ​​Jordanian and foreign, as well as the French community in Jordan, contributed to the success of the reception.

Please read the



Speech by Caroline Dumas, Ambassador of France in Jordan.

Your Royal Highness (es)

Your Excellency (ies), Mr. Minister(s)

Dear Ambassadors

Dear Friends/Chers Amis

Good evening/Bonsoir à tous !

Bienvenue pour cette célébration de la Fête nationale française (« Bastille Day » as our American friends usually say).

Que mes compatriotes me pardonnent, je vais poursuivre en anglais quelques minutes.

I would like to thank you all for being here tonight!

- It is my first celebration of « Bastille Day » in your country.

- I would like to say it is a great honor that I would have dreamed of …!

- I have spent only 5 months in Jordan and have already met a good number of you.

- I have discovered only a small part of your wonderful and very hospitable country, but I hope to be able to enjoy more of it.

- I would like today to pay tribute to all my predecessors, especially Corinne BREUZÉ, the last one of them, who have cherished the excellent links between our two countries and have succeeded in developing them to the point we have reached today, thanks to you, as well, with no doubt.
So, first of all, I would like to thank the Jordanian authorities for their welcoming in their country, and the way they always ensure we feel very comfortable in Jordan. I would like to express my deep gratitude to a lot of persons, but being not able to do it here, I would like more specifically:
 My very deep gratefulness goes, first of all, to His Majesty, King Andullah II, to the members of the Royal Family, who kindly received me and to the Royal Court ( and to his Majesty's tram).
I would like as well to thank His Excellency the Prime Minister Mr. Abdalla El-Nsour, and all members of the government, who are very much dedicated to improving the ties between Jordan and France, under his Excellency's guidance.
Among them all, allow me to mention only one of them, His Excellency Mr. Nasser Joudeh, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates and his wonderful team.

 Including, His Excellency Mr. Ahmed AL MUFLEH, Chief of Protocol and His Excellency Mr. Mohammad Ali DAHER, Secretary General of the Ministry, who are the first ones I met on the Jordanian territory!


My special gratitude goes, as well as, to all of you from the Armed Forces, the Police and the Gendarmerie, the two Houses of Parliament, from the economic and business community of this country, from cultural institutions and partners, from the humanitarian community and, last but not least, all my friends from the large diplomatic community in Amman !

I would like to thank you all deeply for your time, hospitality and friendship during my very first months in this country.
This means a lot: I want to read these marks of welcoming as signs of support and friendship.

It means that, in these times of turbulent surroundings and growing uncertainties that we are all facing, solidarity and friendship are extremely precious.
Jordan is going through a new important moment in its history, both at internal and external levels

1°) – On the domestic level, France is supporting the reform process launched by his Majesty, King Abadullah II, and that the Prime Minister is committed to deepen even further. France wishes to encourage this important process for the future of Jordan, in full respect of the Jordanian people and leaders aspirations, and remains ready to develop any cooperation possible that can be helpful in this regard.

2°) - In the unstable and uncertain regional context that we know, France is also standing by Jordan’s side.

A – Jordan and France share a wide and cross sector partnership

Thanks to my team, whether in the political, military, security, economic or cultural fields, a lot has already been done in the past and is being done. As to the last year, I would like to recall, briefly:

- A stronger consultation and closer dialogue on all regional issues

- A growing and successful cooperation in security fields, as well as in the water and energy sectors

- 5 Navy ship calls in Aqaba

- Very close economic ties, which are being reflected in the recently renewed Franco-Jordanian Chamber of Commerce (CAFRAJ) Board

 - A strengthened judicial cooperation

- Increasing links with different Jordanian universities, including the University of Jordan and the Jordanian University for Science & Technology of Irbid

- The launch, a few weeks ago, of an “Atlas of Jordan”, which is the fruit of a long-standing cooperation between reseachers of our two countries, led by the Institut Français du Proche Orient (IFPO).

- Numerous cultural events and festivals led by an professional and fruitful cooperation between Jordanian institutions and partners, with the French Institute of Jordan, whether in cinema, music, photography, dance or other types of joint creation… .

B – French humanitarian assistance in support of Jordan

Given the new challenges Jordan has been facing for nearly two years now, because of the regional situation, we expressed our deep appreciation of Jordan’s generosity towards the Syrian refugees and we have been offering help to Jordan, to try to alleviate this burden:

** France settled, as soon as August 2012, a military field hospital in Zaatari Camp with close to 100 French personnel, (working side by side with a NGO called Gynecologists Without Borders), and who contribute, to the treatment, vaccination and epidemiological surveillance of the population in the camp.

** Beyond that, France has forwarded more than 10 MEUR of humanitarian assistance for Syrian refugees in Jordan in the past year, through donations to the UNHCR, the World Food Program and the International Committee of the Red Cross, as well as a number of NGOs. (I would like also to commend here the excellent work done by French NGOs to support refugees and host communities in Jordan).

C – This cooperation lies on a permanent high level dialogue

All these subjects, as well as the regional situation and our hopes for renewed Israeli and Palestinian peace talks for a better future for both people, have been at the heart of several French official visits to Jordan during the past year.

- Mr. Jean-Yves LE DRIAN, Minister of Defense, visited Jordan last September,

- Mr. Kader ARIF, Minister for War Veterans came end of December 2012,

- Mr. Laurent FABIUS, Minister of Foreign Affairs, who came 3 times to Jordan in less than one year. He came last August, then attended the Friends of Syria Meeting, held in Amman, last May. And he came back end of June, with the President of the Republic.

- The President of the French Republic, Mr. François HOLLANDE, visited Jordan last June 23rd and was greeted by His Majesty the King. His Majesty and the President shared views in a “tête-à-tête”, followed by a dinner. The President was accompanied by three ministers, including Defense and Interior.

Beyond sharing the same views on Syria, including the necessity of a political solution to the crisis, leading to a unified, inclusive and multi-confessional Syria, President HOLLANDE confirmed to His Majesty our solidarity and appreciation for the role played by Jordan in the crisis. He then announced the disbursement of a 50 MEUROS budgetary support to Jordan, as discussed in 2012, following the sector budget support of 100 MEUR already disbursed by the French Development Agency.

(None of these visits would have been possible without the precious help of the Jordanian authorities. I would like to express here my most sincere gratefulness to all Jordanian teams (especially the Royal Court), personalities and partners who helped us make these visits a success and took time to receive our high level visitors).

D – To serve these purposes, we work with an efficient “network” of partners and instruments and through a long-standing institutional presence with:

- An “already old” Institut Français de Jordanie, which celebrated its 50th anniversary in Djebel Al Webdeh in the presence of Mr. Xavier DARCOS, President of the “French Institute” worldwide, last month.

- A new French school; on the road to the airport, which is ready to open its doors to all students/pupils, who would be interested to study in French, with a new offer in Arabic and English.

- A quite renewed Institut Français du Proche Orient, settled in nice and open premises, with excellent space for researchers to work.

To celebrate these 50 years of active presence in Jordan and friendship between our two countries, I would like to invite you, to a special evening tonight, with music recording the “oldies”, and dancing if you wish….

Thank you, as well, very very much to all Jordanian and French sponsors, who allow us to share such a celebration tonight.

Let us raise our glass:

-             To Jordan

-            To France
 and to the Jordanian-French deep friendship!




France is the most important foreign investor in Jordan

by Ica Wahbeh | Jul 13, 2013 | 22:58 Jordan Times

AMMAN — France’s strong presence in the Jordanian market is a mark of confidence in the prospect of the Kingdom’s development and its stable environment that enables investors to operate safely, according to French Ambassador to Jordan Caroline Dumas.

Speaking to the media on the eve of France’s National Day, which falls on Sunday, Dumas said Jordan and her country enjoy “a true partnership in economy and finance”, France being the biggest non-Arab investor in the Kingdom.

Of the over JD1 billion French investment in Jordan, half is in telecommunications — Orange, of France Telecom, covers one-third of the Kingdom’s communication market — and the rest in cement (Lafarge, which has factories in Jordan), water (Suez Environnement, which is involved in the Disi Water Conveyance Project), energy (petroleum products distributor Total), food distribution (Carrefour) and part of the management at Queen Alia International Airport (through Aéroports de Paris).

France has been lending support to Jordan’s economy for years, mostly in the form of economic and financial aid — grants or “very soft” loans — in key sectors of development, Dumas said.

However, the assistance did not stop there.

“Today we can also talk about support for municipalities in the northern part of the country, helping them cope with the burden of Syrian refugees, and about assistance in the field of waste management,” she said.

The envoy added that through the French Development Agency, her country invested 200 million euros in the Disi project and 50 million euros in the Qatraneh electricity-generating plant.

At the same time, 50 million euros in grants were given to banks to help develop small and medium enterprises.

“All in all, we have over 300 million euros invested in important sectors as very soft loans, at 0.05 to 0.07 per cent interest,” Dumas said, adding that assistance in the water and electricity sectors takes other forms as well, through grants to the Ministry of Finance to the tune of 83 million euros.

In 2012, France granted Jordan 100 million euros to prop up the budget. When, on June 22 this year, President Francois Hollande came to Jordan, he announced that Paris would give Amman an additional 50 million euros for the energy sector.

“The Jordanian government decides how it spends the money, but France wishes to help alleviate the burden Syrian refugees place on Jordan,” said the ambassador, stressing that the assistance her country gives engenders a permanent dialogue with Jordanian authorities and other partners, dialogue which characterises the partnership between the two countries.

“France has expressed appreciation for the role played by Jordan in the Syrian crisis,” she said, noting that Hollande held “a fruitful and amicable exchange with King Abdullah, during which he voiced admiration for the way Jordan received the Syrian refugees”.

French humanitarian aid to Jordan, since the beginning of the crisis in Syria, amounts to 9 million euros, delivered through UN agencies like the UNHCR, WFP, UNICEF and, “soon”, the ICRC.

“This assistance comes in addition to the aid given directly to Zaatari,” said Dumas, adding that the 1 million euros to be given to ICRC is meant to help the armed forces and gendarmes who take charge of Syrian refugees before UNHCR takes over.

The aid is in the form of medical kits and food parcels “to facilitate receiving babies, children, pregnant women and the elderly”.

Since 2012, France also has had a field hospital in the Zaatari Refugee Camp, where doctors “give medical consultations in all specialties” and “help deliver about 10 births a day”. They also immunised 45,000 children so far, with vaccines given through UNICEF and “contributing to containing diseases”.

With regard to Syria, Jordan and France “share the same views”, said the ambassador, reiterating that her country expresses “its admiration for Jordan’s political role” and “we share the same desire to reach a political solution in Syria”.

“We wish to organise the peace conference Geneva II,” Dumas said, noting that there are difficulties involved in this process, but “we work with America, Russia, Arab partners and with the opposition”.

Aid to the opposition is conditional on its “clarifying” its position vis-à-vis extremist groups, the ambassador said.

In Syria, like in Egypt and Tunisia, Dumas said France hopes to see instated regimes that show respect for human rights, include all political forces and ensure a better representation of minorities.

Amman and Paris have had diplomatic, cultural and economic relations since 1963. In these 50 years, the ties became stronger and the French presence more visible.

The Institut Francais, which has just celebrated half a century in Jordan and holds a wealth of cultural and educational activities (language courses, music, dance and movie festivals), the Institut Français du Proche-Orient (which does research in sociology, anthropology, history and archaeology), the French School in Amman, and collaboration with Jordanian universities and the Chamber of Industry, to help train youths to find jobs, are some of the prominent French actors in the cultural life of the country.



French 500,000-euro grant to develop energy efficiency

Petra | May 29, 2013 | 22:50

AMMAN — The Ministry of Planning on Wednesday signed a grant agreement with the French Development Agency, which seeks to support the country’s plan on energy efficiency.

The grant, valued at half-a-million euro, will help provide technical support for Jordan to implement energy efficiency procedures.

The agency has provided support for the Kingdom in various development areas such as water, energy and small- and medium-sized enterprises


"Atlas of Jordan" Launched



AMMAN — After seven years of close cooperation between Jordanian, French and international teams, the “Atlas of Jordan” which maps the history, territories and society of Jordan since man’s first steps in the region, was launched on Wednesday at the Jordan Museum.

“This atlas outlines Jordan’s evolution, not only in the more traditional areas of topography, geography and geology, [but] also innovatively enmeshes human land use and historical, political and nation-building themes and movement,” HRH Princess Sumaya said at the launch.

“I very much hope that this atlas will become a document of primary resource for planning purposes in our country and particularly those vital chapters of social disparities and municipal development… [it] is an unparalleled resource for planning purposes,” she noted.

The atlas offers insight into the Kingdom’s demography and socio-economic trends as recent reports record over 500,000 Syrian refugees in Jordan along with a large Palestinian and Iraqi population.

Although this is the first time such a comprehensive mapping project of the Kingdom has been completed, previous efforts had been exerted by the Department of Antiquities to map and contextualise Jordan, according to a statement released by the Royal Scientific Society.

The atlas also focuses on Petra and Jerash, two of the country’s key archaeological sites.

The atlas required the technical and scientific cooperation of 48 experts from the French Institute of the Near East (IFPO), the Royal Jordanian Geographic Centre, the University of Jordan and the Department of Statistics among others, in order to complete the comprehensive documentation on Jordan.“Such projects aim at solidifying political and economic relations between Jordan and the EU. Enhancing public understanding of Jordan’s past and present is an impressive job,” EU ambassador to Jordan, Joanna Wronecka noted at the launch.

French Ambassador to Jordan Caroline Dumas pointed to the extensive time period during which the teams had worked together to complete the atlas, noting that it is “a testament to what can be achieved by dedicated cooperation between countries”.

The “Atlas of Jordan”, which is in English and Arabic, is currently available at the IFPO and will soon be available at selected bookshops.











Under the Patronage of Her Royal Highness Princess Sumaya bint El Hassan, President of the Royal Scientific Society, the French Embassy in Jordan organized a symposium "This is Water" that was held on Wednesday the 5th of June, at the Royal Scientific Society (RSS), Amman.








It is worth noting that this symposium was organized in the continuity of the 6th World Water forum - Time for Solutions- held in March 2012 in Marseille which was attended by a delegation led by the Secretary General of the Jordanian Ministry of Water and Irrigation and, in the context of 2013, year of international cooperation in the water sector.

French Ambassador in Amman Caroline Dumas said a combination of adequate technology solutions and applied best practices can significantly improve water use efficiency, without affecting the livelihood of individuals.



A visit of Al-Samra Wastewater Treatment Plant, Zarqa was also organised on the 6th of June 2013.


Princess Rym inaugurates Franco Arab Film Festival

Franco Arab Film Festival - `Amman, Jordan

Petra | Jun 13, 2013 | 22:48

AMMAN — HRH Princess Rym on Thursday inaugurated the 19th edition of the Franco Arab Film Festival at the Royal Cultural Centre.

Co-organised by the Greater Amman Municipality, Institut Français and the Royal Film Commission, the festival will run through June 22.


French institute celebrates 50 years in Jordan

AMMAN  France's ties with Jordan have never been more important than at the present time, and the Institut Français plays a major role in nurturing cultural exchange between the two countries, the institute's president said Saturday.

Xavier Darcos, who heads the worldwide Institut Français network, said Jordan is the best partner for France at a tumultuous time in the region.

"Jordan is a stable country in a region going through turbulence," said Darcos, who has served as French minister of labour, education and Francophonie.

Speaking to reporters on the sideline of the Institut Français' celebrations of 50 years in Jordan, Darcos said the Jordanian branch of the institute, founded in 1963, has set a good example of cultural diplomacy.

"The dialogue between France and Jordan has never stopped, even at times of troubled international relations," he noted.

Darcos said the institute, which has grown to become one of the cultural staples of Amman's old Jabal Luweibdeh neighbourhood, has made "a smart choice" by twinning cultural events and institutions in Jordan with their counterparts in France.

Agreement Signed between French Embassy & Jordan University



رئيس الجامعة الاردنية خليف الطراونة والسفيرة الفرنسية كارولين دوما (وسط) خلال الحفل -(من المصدر)






The University of Jordan and the French Embassy signed an academic cooperation agreement and bilateral financing of scholarships.

The agreement was signed last week on behalf of the university president by  Dr. Khalaf Tarawneh and the French  Ambassador Mrs.  Caroline Dumas.

The event was attended by the  Assistant Rector of the funds and financial affairs Dr.  Mamoun  Dabi, Mr. Rami Ali, Director of Information and Public Relations and Cultural Rights and Mrs. Lisbeth Ngouanet, Cooperation Attachée at the French Embassy.


The agreement aims to exchange four students from both sides to complete their master's and doctoral degrees in various disciplines.

The terms of the agreement included the exchange of faculty members between the university and the French universities and institutes in order to exchange experiences and keep abreast of the latest developments in the fields and modern teaching methods. Tarawneh stressed after the signing of the agreement on the importance of developing and strengthening academic cooperation with universities around the world, and rehabilitation of human resources in all disciplines which would strengthen and raise the level of educational output to conform to the requirements of the labour market.

In turn, the French Ambassador Mrs Dumas expressed her excellent impression of the University of Jordan, and confirmed  her country's interest in developing relations with the university for the benefit of both parties.


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