King Abdullah’s welcome visit

THE two-day visit of King Abdullah-II of Jordan to Pakistan after eleven years was a welcome development for both the brotherly countries as it afforded an opportunity to leadership of the two States to discuss all aspects of bilateral relations, situation in South Asia and the Middle East and discussion on how to harmonise their positions at international fora. The King held wide ranging discussions with President Mamnoon Hussain and Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, as a result the two sides agreed to increase their bilateral trade which, at present stands at $75m, is not reflective of their political relations and nature of friendship.
The visit of the King was of particular importance to Pakistan in the backdrop of efforts by some regional and global players to isolate the country diplomatically. Indonesian President Joko Widodo visited Pakistan in the last week of January and now King Abdullah had a productive visit and held substantial discussions with the Pakistani leadership. However, going by the fact that the two countries have always enjoyed closer linkages and ties, there should be more interaction and bilateral visits that always pave the way for cementing ties in different fields to mutual advantage. The two countries have been enjoying excellent military, defence relations and Pakistan has all along provided unconditional and unflinching support to the Arab world on the issue of Middle East conflict. The Middle East problem was also discussed during the visit of the King with Pakistan reiterating its solidarity with the Arab world in the backdrop of American decision to move its embassy to Jerusalem. The understanding of the two countries during visit of King Abdullah to consolidate their relationship in different fields was encouraging yet it is worth pointing that no concrete proposals have been agreed upon to help realise this cherished objective. Bilateral trade is low and there has been a demand for direct flights between the two countries. Pakistan could also export meat, wheat, leather, sports goods and construction equipment in addition to existing textile exports to Jordan. There are also bright prospects for mutual investment and initiation of joint ventures in different fields. Pakistan offered profitable opportunities for investment in its various sectors and private sector of Pakistan was keen to invest in Jordan, which can benefit from Pakistan’s expertise in developing its textile sector. We hope the Foreign Ministry and other relevant ministries would take up these and other issues with their Jordanian counterparts to promote more productive and diversified bilateral ties.

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