(MENAFN - Jordan Times) AMMAN — His Majesty King Abdullah on Thursday held separate talks with Indian President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi which focused on bilateral relations and means to enhance them.
During the meeting with Kovind, held at the presidential palace, King Abdullah stressed Jordan's keenness to expand cooperation with India, especially at the economic, trade, defence, investment and parliamentary levels, highlighting the importance of exchanging visits between both countries' private sectors.
Discussions also focused on the latest regional and international developments, mainly those related to the Middle East peace process, as well as endeavours to reach political solutions to regional crises and efforts in the war against terrorism within a holistic approach, according to a Royal Court statement.
For his part, Kovind expressed his aspiration to sustain coordination and consultation with the Kingdom and enhance cooperation with Jordan in all fields.
He also praised His Majesty's speech at the conference on Islamic heritage, voicing his appreciation for the King's continuous efforts to achieve security and peace in the Middle East.
Kovind held a lunch banquet in honour of His Majesty and the accompanying delegates.
King Abdullah, who returned home late Thursday at the conlusion of three-day state visit, also met with Indian Vice President Venkaiah Naidu, and reviewed bilateral relations and means to enhance them at all levels.
The meeting also went over the regional and international developments, in addition to endeavours aimed at finding political solutions to Mideast crises and the war on terrorism, the statement said.
Also on Thursday, His Majesty visited the statue of Mahatma Gandhi and laid flowers before it.
His Majesty's talks with Modi in New Delhi also tackled bilateral relations and the latest regional and international developments, another Royal Court statement said.
During the meeting, King Abdullah and Modi expressed pride in the 'strength' of Jordanian-Indian relations, which are witnessing constant growth, especially in the economic, trade and investment sectors.
They stressed the importance of coordination and consultation between the two countries on various issues of common interest, which contribute to peace and stability in the Middle East and the world. His Majesty highlighted India's important role in establishing security and stability, combatting terrorism and extremism and achieving global peace, according to the statement.
King Abdullah pointed out that the business sector in India can benefit from the investment and competitive advantages offered by the Jordanian economy in many key sectors such as renewable energy, services, infrastructure and information technology.
His Majesty underlined the importance of exchanging visits between businessmen in both countries to explore opportunities, build partnerships and benefit from Indian expertise in many fields, noting that the Indian side can benefit from Jordan's unique strategic location and free trade agreements with many countries, the statement said.
King Abdullah stressed the need for intensified efforts to break the deadlock in the peace process between the Palestinians and the Israelis, in order to reach just and lasting peace based on a two-state solution that would lead to the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital, as it is the only solution to the conflict.
The two leaders also discussed regional and international efforts in the war against terrorism within a holistic approach. His Majesty warned against the danger of the spreading phenomenon of Islamophobia in Western societies, as extremists would use it as a pretext to fuel their terrorist agendas, the statement said.
For his part, Modi stressed India's keenness to expand cooperation with Jordan and build on the memoranda of understanding and agreements signed between the two countries in many significant sectors that serve the interests of both sides and their peoples.
Prime Minister Modi said that a delegation of Indian businesspeople will visit Jordan to establish partnerships with the Jordanian private sector, especially in light of the Jordan-India Business Forum.
He expressed India's appreciation for Jordan's pivotal role under His Majesty's leadership in achieving peace, security and stability in the Middle East and the world, and his efforts to reach political solutions to crises in the region, the statement said.
The two leaders also stressed the need to continue efforts to implement on the ground the agreements the two countries signed during the King's visit, and to build on them to achieve greater cooperation between the two countries in various fields.
King Abdullah's state visit to India culminated in the signing of 12 cooperation agreements and memoranda of understanding in various fields, including customs, defence, phosphate, culture, health, medical sciences, labour and media, the statement said.
A memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Indian Council for Cultural Relations and University of Jordan was also signed during the visit, as well as two MoUs in health and medical sciences and labour.
The two countries also created a cultural exchange programme for 2018-2022, a twin agreement between Petra and Agra/Taj Mahal, as well as an MoU between Jordan Media Institute and its Indian counterpart, visa exemptions for holders of diplomatic passports, and an MoU between Jordanian Television and Indian Television.