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King Abdullah II accorded ceremonial welcome at Rashtrapati Bhavan

SNS | New Delhi |

Abdullah II bin Al-Hussein, the King of Jordan, was accorded a ceremonial welcome at the Rashtrapati Bhavan in the morning on Thursday, 1 March.

The King, who is on his three-day India visit, was greeted by President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the forecourt of the Rashtrapati Bhavan at around 9 am before he proceeded to inspect the guard of honour.

Flanked on either side by PM Modi and President Kovind, King Abdullah II posed for shutterbugs and gave a short address to the waiting media persons.

The Jordanian King was welcomed on Wednesday night at the Delhi airport by PM Modi, who again broke protocol to meet the emperor of a nation considered by India as an “oasis of stability” in West Asia.

“His Majesty King Abdullah II to Delhi. It’s wonderful to meet him again, after my brief halt at Amman earlier this month. His visit to India will further deepen bilateral ties between our nations,” the PM wrote on Twitter.

King Abdullah II will meet the PM today.

His visit comes nearly three weeks after Modi travelled to Jordan as part of his trip to West Asia, including Palestine. Jordan’s royal helicopters had flown Modi and his delegation from Amman to Ramallah and back during the visit.

The prime minister had then expressed sincere thanks to Jordan for the logistical support extended for smooth facilitation for his Palestine visit. Even during his Palestine visit, PM Modi had met Abdullah II.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had on Wednesday called on the Jordanian King and discussed ways to strengthen ties across all sectors, specially in trade and investment, defence and security, tourism and people-to-people exchanges.

The Prime Minister and the King will hold extensive talks on Thursday covering entire expanse of bilateral ties, official sources said adding, the Palestinian issue and ways to deal with terrorism, radicalisation and extremism are likely to figure prominently in the deliberations

The King, a 41st generation direct descendant of Prophet Muhammad, will also deliver a special address on Islamic heritage and promoting moderation on Thursday morning which is expected to be attended by Modi.

Diplomats, representatives from Islamic institutions of all denominations, academicians, think-tanks and representatives from across the country are expected to attend the event

The King 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

Both sides are expected to ink a number of agreements to expand cooperation in several key sectors including healthcare, IT, customs and will look to firm up a framework pact for defence and security cooperation.

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

The Jordanian King is accompanied by a high-level business delegation.

(With inputs from PTI.)