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Pakistan approaches Jordan as trade gateway, anti-terror partner

King holds talks with Pakistani premier, army commander in Islamabad

By JT - Feb 08,2018 - Last updated at Feb 08,2018

His Majesty King Abdullah holds talks with Pakistani Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi in Islamabad on Thursday (Photo courtesy of Royal Court)

AMMAN — His Majesty King Abdullah on Thursday held talks with Pakistani Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on bilateral ties and regional and international developments.

During bilateral talks, which were held at the PM House and were followed by an expanded meeting attended by senior officials on both sides, discussions covered means to advance cooperation in political, economic, commercial, military, security and cultural areas, a Royal Court statement said.

The two sides affirmed the deep, historical ties that Jordan and Pakistan share, as well as the importance of capitalising on available opportunities to strengthen economic cooperation and increase trade exchange, especially in the fields of mining and fertilisers.

Discussions also touched on opportunities to capitalise on Jordan’s strategic location as a gateway into US, European and African markets, due to the free trade agreements the Kingdom has signed with various countries.

The two sides underlined the tenth round of meetings of the Joint Jordanian-Pakistani Ministerial Committee, which will be held in Islamabad in March.

In addition, discussions addressed regional and international efforts to fight terrorism within a holistic approach to counter its threat to global peace and security.

King Abdullah reaffirmed Jordan’s appreciation of and support for Pakistan’s efforts to fight terrorism and extremism.

The King also stressed Jordan’s willingness to cooperate closely with Pakistan in this regard.

Turning to the Palestinian cause and Jerusalem, His Majesty stressed the importance of breaking the deadlock in the peace process, arriving at just and comprehensive peace based on the two-state solution, relevant UN resolutions and international law, and the Arab Peace Initiative, leading to the establishment of an independent Palestinian state on the June 4, 1967, lines with East Jerusalem as its capital.

The King underlined that the issue of Jerusalem must be settled within the framework of a comprehensive solution that addresses all final status issues of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, urging the international community to shoulder its responsibilities to safeguard the rights of Palestinians, Arabs, Muslims, and Christians to the holy city, which, he said, is key to regional peace and stability.

Abbasi stressed the importance of the Hashemite Custodianship of Islamic and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem, and Jordan’s major role in undertaking this responsibility, affirming Pakistan’s support for His Majesty’s position in this regard.

He expressed his country’s appreciation of Jordan’s stances, led by the King, on ensuring stability in the region, asserting Pakistan’s keenness to strengthen cooperation and coordination with Jordan in various fields.

Discussions also touched on UNRWA’s vital role and the need for the international community’s support to enable it to continue to provide education, health and relief services to refugees, as 5 million Palestinian refugees are registered with the UN.

The issue of Jammu and Kashmir was also discussed, highlighting the  importance of reaching a political solution to the issue with India, in accordance with international law and relevant UN resolutions, as such a solution is prone to bolster peace and stability in the region.

Moreover, discussions covered efforts to resolve crises in the Middle East politically.

Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Lt. Gen. Mahmoud Freihat, Director of the Office of His Majesty Jafar Hassan, and Jordan’s Ambassador to Pakistan Nawaf Saraireh attended the talks.

On the Pakistani side, Foreign Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif, Minister for Housing and Works Akram Khan Durrani and Pakistan’s Ambassador to Jordan Junaid Rehmat, as well as other senior officials, were in attendance.

His Majesty also attended an official dinner banquet hosted in his honour and in honour of the Jordanian delegation by Prime Minister Abbasi.

Earlier, the King was received by Pakistani President Mamnoon Hussain and a number of senior officials and officers upon arrival in Islamabad.

His Majesty was also accorded an official welcoming ceremony at the PM House.

On the sidelines of the visit, Jordan and Pakistan signed an agreement in the field of civil protection and civil defence, and a memorandum of understanding on public works and housing.

Also in Islamabad, His Majesty met with the commander of the Pakistani armed forces, Qamar Javed Bajwa, over military affairs, the Royal Court said. The meeting, which was attended by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Lt. Gen. Mahmoud Freihat, also covered efforts to combat terrorism. 

The King arrived in the Pakistani capital from Abu Dhabi, where he met with the UAE leaders over bilateral ties and issues of mutual concern.

On a tweet, the King commented on the visit: “We take pride in the sisterly the UAE, with which we are bound by deep-rooted brotherly and historic ties. I was happy to meet my brother Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed, who is exerting relentless efforts to advance his nation and people, rendering the Emirates an example to follow worldwide. Sheikh Mohammed is a brother to me and every Jordanian and an Arab leader we are proud of”. 

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