King Abdullah reaffirmed Jordan’s support for Pakistan’s war against terrorism

Arif Qureshi

Islamabad: Pakistan and Jordan agreed to bring greater focus on enhancing bilateral trade and investment relations, to make the bilateral trade currently at USD 75 million, commensurate with the excellent political ties existing between the two countries. This was agreed during the meeting between Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and King Abdullah II Ibn Al Hussein of Jordon here at the PM House. King Abdullah and Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi held delegation level talks in which the two sides reviewed the entire gamut of bilateral relations and exchanged views on ways to further expand these relations in a variety of fields. The two leaders also reviewed regional situation, with particular focus on the Middle East in the aftermath of recognition of Jerusalem by Washington as the capital of Israel, a press release issued by the PM’s Media Office here said.

Foreign Minister of Jordan Ayman Safadi, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Lt. Gen. Mahmoud Freihat, Director of the Office of His Majesty Jafar Hassan  attended the talks. On the Pakistani side, Federal Minister for Defence, Engr. Khurram Dastgir Khan, foreign Secretary Tahmina Janjua  as well as other senior officials, were in attendance. Both the  ambassador of Jordan to Pakistan Nawaf Saraireh and Pakistan’s Ambassador to Jordan Junaid Rehmat assisted their respective delegates in the meeting. 

The Prime Minister expressed Pakistan’s unequivocal support for the just cause of Palestine and reiterated Pakistan’s rejection of the US decision. He also briefed the visiting dignitary on the current situation along the LoC, Pakistan’s counter-terrorism efforts and its commitment towards regional peace and stability. The two countries on this occasion also signed an agreement in the field of Civil Protection and Civil Defence.

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 is key to regional peace and stability. Prime Minister 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 positions in this regard.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Ministry of Housing and Works of Pakistan and the Ministry of Public Works and Housing of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan was also signed. King Abdullah II thanked the Prime Minister for the warm welcome accorded to him and his delegation. The Prime Minister also hosted a banquet in the honor of King Abdullah II and his delegation. King Abdullah II is visiting Pakistan after 11 years. His visit is a reflection of the close brotherly relations existing between Pakistan and Jordan.

Discussions also touched on opportunities to capitalize 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 readiness 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, the international law, and the Arab Peace Initiative, which leads to the establishment of an independent Palestinian state on the 4 June 1967 lines with East Jerusalem as its capital.

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, including the importance of reaching a political solution to it with India, in accordance with international law and relevant UN resolutions, and in order to bolster peace and stability in the region. Moreover, discussions covered efforts to resolve crises in the Middle East politically.

Earlier Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi received the Jordanian King and greeted him at the welcome ceremony. National anthems of the two countries were played. The contingents of the armed forces presented guard of honour to King Abdullah II. Pakistan Air Force’s JF-17 Thunder jets also displayed a spectacular fly past while presenting salute to the dignitary. Wing Commander Kashif Kamal led the formation. King Abdullah-II of Jordan arrived in Islamabad today on a two-day visit to Pakistan on the invitation of President Mamnoon Hussain. He was warmly received at Noor Khan Airbase by President Mamnoon Hussain. A 21 gun salute was given in honor of the distinguished guest. King Abdullah also met with Chief of the Pakistan Army Staff, General Qamar Javed Bajwa, relations between the two countries, especially in the military fields came under discussion.

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