New Delhi, Feb 26 (PTI) A special address on Islamic heritage and promoting moderation will be a major highlight of Jordanian King’s three-day visit here beginning tomorrow during which both sides will look to expand ties in a range of key areas including defence and security. Also Read - Motera— World's Biggest Cricket Ground—Renamed as Narendra Modi Stadium
King Abdullah II bin Al-Hussein, a 41st generation direct descendant of Prophet Muhammad, is known for his global initiative to fight radicalisation and terrorism. He is also the custodian of the Al-Aqsa mosque, the third holiest site in Islam, located in the Old City of Jerusalem. Also Read - Train Services Resume In Kashmir Valley After 11 Months of COVID-19 Restrictions
India considers Jordan an “oasis of stability and harmony” in conflict-ridden West Asia and New Delhi would like to deepen bilateral ties with the country during the King’s visit, official sources said, adding both sides will also look to finalise a framework for defence cooperation. Also Read - ‘Forgive My Mother’: 12-Year-Old Son of Death Row Convict Shabnam Urges President For Mercy
They said the King is particularly appreciative of India’s plurality, diversity and the way it has tackled radicalization and extremism, and he is likely delve on this facet.
In a statement, the external affairs ministry said the two sides will discuss the entire gamut of bilateral relations as well as regional and international issues of mutual interest.
The Palestinian issue and ways to deal with terrorism, radicalisation and extremism are likely to figure, apart from key bilateral and regional matters, in talks between the King and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday, the sources said.
They said PM Modi, diplomats, representatives from Islamic institutions of all denominations, academicians, think-tanks and representatives from across the country are expected to attend the special address by the Jordanian king at Vigyan Bhavan on Thursday.
The topic — ‘Islamic heritage; Promoting Understanding and Moderation’ — has been selected by the king himself, the sources said. A number of representatives from a number of Arab countries may also attend the lecture.
A translation of a book “A Thinking Person’s Guide to Islam — the Essence of Islam in 12 versus from the Quran” will also be released at the event, being organised by the India Islamic Cultural Centre.
The influential leader’s India visit comes nearly three weeks after the prime minister visited Jordan as part of his recent trip to West Asia, including to Palestine. Modi’s visit to Jordan was the first bilateral trip by an Indian prime minister in three decades.
“We attach great importance to our ties with Jordan as it is an oasis of stability and harmony in an area of conflict,” said a source, reflecting on the significance of the Jordan king’s visit.
The sources said both sides are expected to ink a number of agreements to expand cooperation in several key sectors including health care, IT, customs and will look to firm up a framework pact for defence and security cooperation.
They said the King, who had served the Jordanian armed forces, was particularly keen on having defence and security cooperation with India.
In their talks, Modi and the king are also likely to explore ways of deepening trade ties. Twenty textile industries from India have invested around USD 300 million in Jordan.
On Wednesday, the King will visit IIT Delhi to explore collaboration with Jordan technical institutes. During the day, the King will also participate in a CEO Round-table followed by India-Jordan Business Forum being jointly organised by FICCI, CII and ASSOCHAM.
Giving an example of the warmth in ties between the two countries, the sources said the King was travelling abroad and came back to Amman to receive Modi. He received Modi at his residence despite it being a holiday in Jordan.
He had appreciated Modi for undertaking a “stand alone” visit to Palestine through Amman and also for India’s strong support to the Palestinian cause.
Asked whether India would like to be part of the negotiation process on the Palestinian issue, the sources said there was “no thinking” to get involved in it.
Jordan’s royal helicopters had flown Modi and his delegation from Amman to Ramallah and back during the visit.
The Jordanian King, who will be accompanied by a high-level business delegation, will also call on President Ram Nath Kovind on Thursday and he will host a banquet for the visiting leader.
On whether the issue of 39 missing Indians will be discussed during talks between Modi and the King, sources said it had figured during the prime minister’s parleys with Palestinian leadership in his recent trip to Palestine.
About the Kashmir issue, the sources said Jordan has a very neutral position over it since 1970s. PTI MPB MPB RT RT
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.