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Jordan an Oasis of Stability & Peace in the Troubled Middle East

Jordanian King Abdullah II Ibn Al Hussein was in Delhi from February 27 to March 1, 2018 and held bilateral talks with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on March 1, 2018; before both the leaders addressed a gathering of prominent representatives of various sects of Islam in India, at a conference on “Islamic Heritage: Promoting Understanding and Moderation”. King Abdullah II with focus on the issue of growing extremism and the need for de-radicalisation, during his special address at the conference spread the message of ‘moderate Islam’ and the beauty of ‘tolerance’. He said that today’s global war on terror is not between religions, it is the fight of moderates against extremism and extremist ideology. Prime Minister Modi, speaking at the event, emphasised that the fight against extremism and radicalisation was not against any one religion and said that Indian democracy is a celebration of age-old pluralism. Every religion found life here, it grew here. Modi reminded the rich history of India and the pluralistic values. Every Indian is proud of this virtue, no matter what language he speaks, no matter what religion he practices.

In his address King Abdullah, the 41st generation direct descendant of Prophet Muhammad and custodian of Al Aqsa mosque-the third holiest site in Islam, stressed on the need for Inclusivity. Modi highlighting his ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas’ slogan, said, “Our rich diversity gives us the needed strength in today’s times, full of uncertainties and contaminated by violence and hatred, to fight the challenges of terrorism and extremism”.

Modi said that this capital city of India Delhi name of which is derived from the word ‘Dahlis’, is the indulgent of old belief; and quoted Sufiyana as a proof of Kalam; and mentioned Azeem Sufi saint, Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya. This Ganges-Jamuna double-decker is the gateway to the mixed Ganges-Jamuni culture of India. From here the ancient philosophy of India and the combined tradition of the love and humanism of Sufis have given the message of the basic unity of mankind. This sense of unity of manmata has given India the vision of ‘Vasudhaiva kutumbakam’. That is, India and Indians have made the whole world their identity with them as a family

The leaders also released the Urdu translation of a book titled “A Thinking Persons’ Guide to Islam”. Authored by Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad bin Talal, a cousin of the King and also Chief Adviser for Religious and Cultural Affairs, the book attempts to interpret the real meaning of Islam. It is split into 12 thematic chapters, each beginning with and centred on a key Quranic verse and has been translated in Urdu by Maulana Mehmood Madani of the Jamiat-e-Ulema-e-Hind.

Indian President Ram Nath Kovind, welcoming the Jordanian King Abdullah II to India hosted a banquet in his honour at Rashtrapati Bhavan on March 1, 2018, appreciated the global initiatives and the leadership role that King Abdullah II has taken in eradicating extremism through the “Aqaba” — meetings that are aimed at de-radicalising and consolidating the global front against terrorism. Indian President said that Jordan has remained stable and peaceful in a troubled region. Jordan has played a key role in the Middle East. It has been an oasis of stability in the region.

The President said that Jordan and India enjoy warm and friendly ties. India attaches great importance to its relations with Jordan. He was happy to note that phosphate related joint ventures of the two countries are doing well. He stated that a large number of Indian textile companies have invested in Jordan and they have received good support from the Government of Jordan. The President emphasised that there is much scope to enhance trade and investment between India and Jordan, particularly in the fields of IT, infrastructure, pharma and tourism.

The under-mentioned MoUs/Agreements were signed on March 1, 2018 during the visit of King Jordan to India:

  • MoU on Defence Cooperation
  • Visa waiver for diplomatic and official passport holders
  • Cultural Exchange Programme (CEP)
  • Manpower Cooperation Agreement
  • MoU for cooperation in the field of Health and Medicine between India and Jordan
  • MoU for setting up of the next generation Centre of Excellence (COE) in Jordan
  • MoU for long term supply of Rock Phosphate and Fertilizer/NPK
  • Customs Mutual Assistance Agreement
  • Twining Agreement between Agra and Petra (Jordan)
  • Cooperation between Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC) and Jordan Media Institute (JMI)
  • MoU between PrasarBharati and Jordan TV
  • MoU between University of Jordan (UJ) and ICCR regarding setting up of a Hindi Chair at the University

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