Letter to Abdullah Ensour directing the government to activate the Ministry of Defence and to expand IEC’s role

From King Abdallah II of Jordan
To Abdullah Ensour
RE: Activating the Ministry of Defence and expanding IEC’s role
13 August 2014
Translated from Arabic

In the name of God, the Most Merciful, the Compassionate

Your Excellency Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour, 

Peace be upon you, God’s mercy and blessings,

We extend to you and your colleagues in the Cabinet our greetings and good wishes, and reaffirm our faith in your dedication to forge ahead in the comprehensive national reform drive embraced by Jordan as a steady approach, characterised by calm, confident, and gradual progress, as one achievement builds on another.

In line with our keenness to push the reform drive further, we direct the government to proceed into a crucial new phase of reforms – based on the principles of transparency, enhancing popular participation, and sharing national responsibilities – to add to the major qualitative reforms achieved over the past three years. This comes at a time when our region is going through extremely dangerous and unprecedented circumstances, which requires more diligent work to strengthen and reorganise our national institutions and improve their performance.

Accordingly, we direct you to begin implementing the following reform steps:

First: Start work to establish the national institution of a Ministry of Defence to assume the political, economic, legal, and logistic functions related to national defence, in a manner that achieves the following:

  • Develop the state’s general defence capabilities.
  • Transfer the non-military logistic, administrative, investment, and development duties and those not associated with specialised professional military domain from the jurisdiction of the General Command of the Jordan Armed Forces to the Ministry of Defence at a gradual pace, enabling the Arab Army to focus on its professional military functions.
  • Manage military resources more efficiently and effectively.
  • Organise relations with veterans and retired servicemen, as supporters of their brothers in arms and in active service of defending the homeland, and utilising their services and energies in various fields.

We also stress the importance of giving you the ample time you see needed to examine the issue extensively and prepare the necessary studies, followed by developing an operational plan to arrive at the gradual activation of the Ministry of Defence over the next coming years.

Second: Expand the role of the Independent Election Commission in administering electoral processes to include managing and supervising municipal elections, in addition to any other elections the government assigns, ensuring the utmost levels of transparency, integrity and fairness - particularly as we embark on gradual implementation of the national decentralisation project.

Your Excellency,

As we believe in the government’s ability to develop a clear vision for implementing this new reform phase, we wish you all the best and hope that your efforts will prove successful in achieving these reform steps, which reflect our vision and meet the aspirations of our people, enabling us to move ahead in serving our precious homeland and our beloved citizens.

Peace and God’s mercy and blessings be upon you.

Abdullah II ibn Al-Hussein