Jordan, Pakistan sign maritime, technological accords
Pakistani military ruler General Pervez Musharraf ended a two-day visit to Jordan Tuesday with the signing of two bilateral agreements and pledges to strengthen ties in all fields. Before leaving for Lebanon on the third and last leg of a regional tour that started in Syria on Sunday, Musharraf held talks with Jordanian Prime Minister Ali Abu Ragheb and witnessed the signing of the agreements.
One of the agreements concerns maritime transport between the two countries and the other is a memorandum of understanding to develop science and technological cooperation, officials said, without providing details.
Abu Ragheb hailed Musharraf's visit, saying it paved the way for "new basis to develop the brotherly and historical ties" between Amman and Islamabad. "We are proud of the level of cooperation that have existed between our two countries for many years in the political and military fields as well as in trade, culture and technology," Abu Ragheb said before seeing off his guest. "Today we witnessed the fruit of this relation with the signing of two new accords," he said.
Musharraf also insisted on "the need to strengthen cooperation between the two countries and to find the adequate methods to develop them." The two sides discussed the possibility of investing in each other's country, and Pakistan indicated an interest in Jordan's recently launched "special economic zone" in the Red Sea port of Aqaba and in its ailing flagship phosphates industry.
The volume of trade between the two countries amounted to $20 million last year, accounting mostly for Jordanian exports of phosphate and potash to Pakistan in exchange for textiles. Jordan and Pakistan also have a long-standing history of military cooperation and have provided each other with training courses for their soldiers.
On Monday, Musharraf held talks with King Abdullah II, in which the two discussed the crippled Middle East peace process and voiced support for an independent Palestinian state that includes east Jerusalem. — (AFP, Amman)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)