His Majesty King Abdullah on Saturday met with India's President Pranab Mukherjee at Al Husseiniya Palace, where they discussed the ways to further facilitate Jordanian exports’ entry into Indian markets, the fight against terrorism and bilateral relations, a Royal Court statement said.
The two leaders discussed boosting Jordanian-Indian joint projects in the fields of fertilisers, IT, medicine, and defence industries.
Discussions covered the needs of the Indian market for phosphate and potash, and the interest of both countries to increase trade exchange to $5 billion within five years.
During one-on-one discussions, His Majesty stressed the importance of having a strategic approach to combat terrorism and the need for further international coordination in this regard.
Mukherjee said the actions of terrorist groups cannot be ignored as their dangers have surpassed geographical borders and become a threat to the entirety of humanity.
At the beginning of an expanded meeting, attended by officials from both countries, His Majesty highlighted India's role as an effective power in the international community, welcoming the Indian president and describing his visit as "historical".
King Abdullah noted that Mukherjee's visit is the first to Jordan and coincided with the 65th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
“As you and I have discussed in our private discussions, this is built on the visit of His Majesty the late King Hussein to your country; and by my visit, where I had the honour of meeting you when you were foreign minister,” His Majesty said, addressing the Indian president.
“So I welcome all of you here today. We look forward to signing a series of memoranda of understanding between our two countries, including the inauguration of [Jordan India Fertilisers Company] JIFCO,” at a cost of $860 million.
On the anti-terror drive, King Abdullah said: “... We are all facing a global challenge of extremism and terrorism. And again, this is an issue that we want to talk [about] to our friends in India with tremendous seriousness.”
He added: “How do we all stand together in this common fight? I mentioned it is a third world war. This is a fight inside of Islam where we have to deal with this issue that brings all religions together. And we appreciate your country’s support in this issue.”
Mukherjee, in his speech, said “I had the privilege of receiving you in our country when Your Majesty visited in December 2006, as indeed as foreign minister of India. And I am happy to have the opportunity that the first Indian president’s visit to Jordan is taking place during my tenure as the president of India.”
The Indian president commended the level of bilateral relations and said there will be a detailed discussion regarding all fields of cooperation, “including the defence productions, security and also announcing the bilateral investment in each other’s countries.”
He said: “We are interested in expanding the fertiliser project here and we are also interested to have a long-term relationship for a supplier of phosphate to our country.”
“As one of the most important programme any government of India will have to take to be self-sufficient in food production to feed its budging population. We do understand that it is not possible for any country to feed 1.2 billion plus people,” added Mukherjee.
King Abdullah and Mukherjee inaugurated JIFCO Phosphoric Acid Complex at Eshidiya remotely by telepresence, the Royal Court statement said.
During the inauguration ceremony, Jordan Phosphate Mines Company (JPMC) Chairman Amer Majali said the Complex aims at transforming around 2 million tonnes of phosphate ores extracted from the Eshidiya phosphate mines annually into phosphoric acid, which helps manufacture many fertiliser compounds.
India buys fertiliser compounds products to use in its factories as supplementary goods, according to Majali.
JPMC is currently working on establishing similar joint projects inside and outside Jordan to reach an annual excavation capacity of phosphate standing at 12 million tonnes during the next five years, Majali said, adding that most of it will be turned into “high value fertiliser products”.
He expected that all the projects would, altogether, attract investments worth $1.5 million, stimulate several sectors in the Kingdom and create around 9,000 job opportunities, according to the Royal Court.
The meeting and the inauguration ceremony were attended by HRH Prince Feisal, Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour, Royal Court Chief Fayez Tarawneh, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Nasser Judeh, King’s Office Director Jafar Hassan, Labour Minister Nidal Katamine, Justice Minister Bassam Talhouni, and Minister of Industry, Trade and Supply Maha Ali, along with senior officials from the Indian side.
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