"We might see Latin America and the Caribbean, and Jordan and the Middle East as geographically far apart, and thus, have nothing or few things in common, which is untrue anyway," Fernandez
cited as examples Jordan and the Dominican Republic's
"dream of peace, prosperity and development" and the two countries' efforts to develop their economies, eradicate poverty, and improve education, health services and social guarantees.
"We are both committed to protecting human dignity, safeguarding our national resources and the environment, modernising our countries and saving our cultural heritage," the former president said.
Underlining the significance of the centre as a think-tank for fresh ideas and a space to build on the similarities between the two nations, Fernandez
said the Kingdom had the largest number of research papers per million in the Arab world, commending the university's "prominent" achievements throughout its 50 years.
AMMAN - Latin American countries have been inspired by His Majesty King Abdullah's reform vision, especially in the field of economy, former Dominican president Leonel Fernandez said on Tuesday.
"I have examined all transformations and bold initiatives embarked on by King Abdullah in the economic, social and political fields," he
said, noting that challenges Jordan and the Latin American countries face today are similar, whether in the quest for a global-integrated system, modern infrastructure or a better economy.
In an interview with The Jordan Times, Fernandez said the Kingdom should focus on "diversifying" its economy and making it more innovative to overcome the current difficult economic situation, noting that the Dominican Republic and Jordan share the same experience in establishing special economic and industrial zones.
In terms of transformations taking place in the region, he
noted that the events some regional countries are witnessing today are considered "democratic transitions, rather than revolutions", explaining that "a revolution, as we Latin Americans believe... goes deeper than changing the regime".
highlighted that the whole world is experiencing change, citing the global economic crisis and social movements in several countries, even those that have been safe for over a decade.
"I am not pessimistic... as I believe this is what is called creative destruction," the former president said.
Noting that the Dominican
Republic was one of the states that voted in favour of upgrading Palestine's status to non-member observer state in the UN, Fernandez
believes that the two-state solution is the only way to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli dispute.
During a meeting with the former Dominican
president on Monday, King Abdullah voiced his
appreciation for selecting Jordan to establish the Latin studies centre.
Fernandez, a lawyer and academician, served as president of the Dominican Republic from 1996 to 2000 and from 2004 to 2012.