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India committed to stronger ties with Jordan — Modi

King, Indian PM agree to improve coordination between two countries

By JT - Feb 10,2018 - Last updated at Feb 10,2018

His Majesty King Abdullah meets with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Amman on Friday (Photo courtesy of Royal Court )

AMMAN — His Majesty King Abdullah on Friday received Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is visiting Jordan as part of a regional tour.

On Saturday, the Indian premier was in the West Bank, becoming the first Indian prime minister to visit the occupied territories. 

The King’s discussions with Modi covered the “strong ties between Jordan and India, and means to bolster cooperation in various areas”, according to a Royal Court statement.

The meeting also addressed developments related to the Palestinian cause, and Jordan’s role in safeguarding Islamic and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem, in line with the Hashemite Custodianship.

The meeting, attended by Acting Prime Minister Mamdouh Abbadi, also touched on coordination and consultations between the two countries over issues of mutual concern.

King Abdullah affirmed India’s important role in enhancing security and stability, and combating extremism.

For his part, Prime Minister Modi stressed India’s commitment to closer cooperation with Jordan, noting the importance of His Majesty’s upcoming visit to India in advancing relations and expanding cooperation, especially in economic, commercial and investment-related fields.

Royal Hashemite Court Chief Fayez Tarawneh, Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi, Director of the Office of His Majesty Jafar Hassan, India’s Ambassador to Jordan Shubhdarshini Tripathi and the accompanying Indian delegation attended the meeting.

Modi on Saturday held talks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas as part of a Middle East tour, Agence France Presse reported from Ramallah. 

The visit, which came weeks after Modi hosted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, was seen as an Indian effort to balance its strengthening ties with Israel.

“I have once again assured President Abbas that India is bound by a promise to take care of the Palestinian people’s interests,” Modi said following a meeting with the Palestinian leader. 

“India hopes that soon Palestine will become a free country in a peaceful manner.”

New Delhi has long backed the Palestinian territories’ quest for nationhood and Modi has voiced support for an independent state existing peacefully alongside Israel.

After a bilateral meeting, Abbas gave the Indian leader a medal “in recognition of his wise leadership” and “efforts to promote the historic relations between the State of Palestine and the Republic of India”. Speaking alongside Modi, Abbas said they had discussed “bringing the political process out of the deadlock due to the continued Israeli occupation of our land and the political impasse following [US President Donald] Trump’s decision on Jerusalem and the refugees”. 

Trump in December shocked the Palestinians by breaking with decades of US policy and recognising Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. The US president is also withholding tens of millions of dollars from UNRWA, the UN agency for Palestinian refugees.

“We count on India’s role as an international force of great prestige and weight,” Abbas said, noting “its rising power at the strategic and economic levels” that could “contribute to the achievement of a just peace in our region”.

The Indian leader said his country “hopes for peace and stability in this region”. 

“We believe a permanent solution to Palestine is possible through dialogue. Only diplomacy and farsightedness can break the cycle of violence and free it from the baggage of the past,” Modi said. “India and Palestine’s historic relations have stood the test of time. Palestinian interests have always got our support and remained at the top in our foreign policy.”

Modi became the first Indian prime minister ever to visit Israel in July last year, with the two states signing deals on cyber security and energy.

India’s refusal to back US moves to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital disappointed Tel Aviv but was consistent with its support for the Palestinians.


Modi’s tour will also take him to Oman and the United Arab Emirates.

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