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Jordan King hopes to make India visits an annual affair


IANS New Delhi
The "synergies" that he sees between Jordan and India, and the consequent "opening of opportunities" bilaterally, during his ongoing visit to India prompted King Abdullah II to say on Wednesday that he looks forward to making such visits to the country an annual affair.
Addressing the India-Jordan business Forum here organised by industry chambers Ficci, Assocham and CII, the King of Jordan, whose last state visit to India took place in 2006, also said he hoped that the current visit would herald a new start to the historic relationship between the two countries.
"Jordan is situated with the opportunity with not only the free trade agreements for North America but Europe, the Middle East and the new development of our opening relationship with East Africa has opportunities for many people," said the King, whose delegation includes representatives of over 50 Jordanian companies.
Jordan, which has traditionally been the major source of phosphates and fertilisers for India, now offers major opportunities for collaboration with its IT and ITes sectors, he said.
Abdullah II also made a reference to the challenges that his country faces owing to the widespread political instability in the Middle East.
"We have many challenges ahead of us, as was alluded to with the instability that the world has given us.
"Unfortunately, with difficult people that we have to deal with, it is more important that people of different cultures and different backgrounds energise each other and come closer together," he said.
On the occasion of the state visit, Jordan has announced visa on arrival facility for Indians and the formal visa waiver agreement will be signed between the King and Prime Minister Narendra Modi after bilateral talks on Thursday.
In this connection, The King said that he had asked the Indian Ambassador in Amman to convey any challenges faced by Indians who are willing to come to Jordan.
"We will personally look into it to make sure that the smoothest welcome is given to our Indian compatriots," he said.
Addressing the forum earlier, Indian Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu thanked the King for Jordan being a key part of India's food security programme through its fertiliser exports over many years.
Modi on Tuesday broke protocol and received the Jordanian King, who arrived here on a three-day state visit, at the airport. Earlier this month, King Abdullah hosted Modi at his residence in Amman.
India-Jordan trade stood at $1.35 billion in 2016-17, according to figures provided by the Indian External Affairs Ministry.

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First Published: Feb 28 2018 | 10:16 PM IST

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