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55 years of strong partnership

Feb 17,2018 - Last updated at Feb 17,2018

His Majesty King Abdullah's visit to Moscow for summit talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin coincided with the 55th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

Opening a direct channel of diplomatic relations with Moscow was a milestone in Jordan's relations with the major nations of the world, and ushered in a new era of cooperation and understanding between Russia and Jordan, not only on the political and economic levels, but also on the personal relations between Jordanians and Russians.

It was then when trade and commerce between the two countries started modestly at the beginning, but soon after and ever since, expanded to new horizons. Subsequently, Jordanian students flocked in the thousands to Russian institutions of higher education to acquire university degrees.

Ever since, Jordanian-Russian relations developed and grew steadily in, practically, all fields, including military, culture and most recently tourism.

No wonder the King's talks with Russian President Putin on Thursday took off on a positive note and succeeded in further cementing the already-promising partnership between the two countries.

With regard to the search for just solutions to the Palestinian and Syrian conflicts, the two leaders shared a common vision for a lasting peace. The King reiterated his unshaken conviction that the two-state solution offers the only hope for a peaceful resolution for the Palestinian conflict that is based on the establishment of an independent Palestinian state in the West Bank with East Jerusalem as its capital.

On the Syrian front, His Majesty praised the declaration of a de-escalation zone for southern Syrian, which Jordan, Russia and the US brokered last year, as a living testimony to the growing understanding between Amman and Moscow to put the political resolution of the Syrian crisis on the right path. This tripartite accord serves as a model for other de-escalation zones in Syria which, yet, have to prove their worth or practicality.

With regard to the promising Jordanian-Russian bilateral relations, the two leaders paid tribute to the joint Jordanian-Russian committee and expressed hope that its next annual meeting succeeds in bolstering even closer relations and cooperation between the two countries.

As the King said at the end of his summit meeting with President Putin, this year will witness an even greater cooperation between the two countries. In this vein, discussions between the two leaders also noted and supported the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Jordan and the Eurasian Economic Union, comprising Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kirghizstan. The MoU opens up the Eurasian countries’ markets to Jordan's exports, which will boost the Kingdom’s economy and increase the volume of trade and commerce between Jordan and the five countries.

Russia is not only a super power, but also a major player in the Middle East. The King held two separate talks with Patriarch Kirill I of the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow and the Grand Mufti of Russia Sheikh Rawi Ainuddin, before concluding his talks in Moscow.

On both occasions, the King highlighted Jordan's historic and long-standing stance on inter-faith dialogue, the 2004 Amman message on religious tolerance between the three monotheistic religions, the true message of Islam, as a religion of peace and respect for other religions, and the need to combat radicalism and terrorism in a holistic approach.

King Abdullah called for the protection of the Christian people in the region and offered the exemplary Jordanian model for this purpose.

The two religious leaders in Russia praised the role of Jordan in promoting tolerance and inter-religious dialogue, understanding and cooperation between Islam, Christianity and Judaism. The role of the King as the custodian of the Islamic and Christian holy sites was also recognised and supported.

The wide spectrum of issues that the King's visit to Russia covered made it of far-reaching importance. The warmth of the talks and the wide range of subjects discussed made it truly outstanding and beneficial to both sides. The momentum of the successful talks must, therefore, be maintained by follow-up meetings between the two countries.

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