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AMMAN (Petra) His Majesty King Abdullah on Thursday ordered immediate measures to facilitate travel and custom procedures at airports and border crossings.

King Abdullah told top government and security officials as well as private sector representatives at a meeting that he will personally follow-up on the issue.

I want to see tangible results on the ground soon, the King said at the meeting.

He stressed that tourists and investors visiting the Kingdom should be treated in a civilised manner that reflects Jordanian values and hospitality.

The Monarch called for upgrading border crossings and training their staff to receive Jordan's guests with smiles and shining faces.

Urging plans to attract more tourists, King Abdullah said border crossing employees should be picked in line with their capabilities. He added that the staff should be provided with a convenient working environment and incentives.

The King noted that such issues were highlighted by the 2004-2010 National Tourism Strategy, which, he said, requires more coordination and cooperation between the government and private sector to be implemented. The six-year plan was launched during last year's World Economic Forum at the Dead Sea and was approved by the Cabinet.

Interior Minister Awni Yarvas briefed the meeting on measures taken to facilitate the flow of passengers and goods, particularly on the border with Iraq which needs JD600,000 to be rehabilitated until establishing a JD60 million new crossing.

For his part, Director of the Public Security Department Lieutenant General Mohammad Aitan said that the PSD increased the number of border police, who are to be trained on how to deal with passengers. He added that 1,500 university graduates were recruited to work at border crossings.

Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Alia Hattough-Bouran, meanwhile, outlined promotion campaigns conducted by the Jordan Investment Board in seven Arab Gulf states, highlighting Jordan's tourism attractions.
[tags]jordan, king, facilitate, travel, local, news[/tags]

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