The Jordan Times
AMMAN — Prime Minister Hani Mulki on Tuesday expressed Jordan's willingness to boost economic relations with Turkey through the establishment of special zones for Turkish industries and more Turkish investment in the Kingdom.
In separate meetings with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Prime Minister Binali Yildirim, Mulki stated that Jordan also welcomes more Turkish participation in mega projects on the drawing board, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.
Jordan and Turkey plan to increase the trade volume to $3 billion, it was announced after the talks, in order to make up for the significant drop that resulted from the Syrian crisis.
Mulki expressed Jordan's interest in establishing a maritime line between Aqaba and Turkish ports, as well as increasing the volume of exported phosphate and potash to Turkey. He also suggested the establishment of a Jordanian-Turkish fertiliser company to handle these transactions.
The premier highlighted the importance for the Turkish International Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) to implement projects it had pledged to finance, such as the Hejaz Railway museum, the building of educational institutions and the maintenance of archaeological sites.
Mulki invited Turkish companies to invest in planned or ongoing large-scale projects, such as the Red Sea-Dead Sea Water Conveyance Project and railway projects.
He also stressed the importance of increasing cooperation on the cultural and educational levels.
He expressed hope to see a rise in the number of Turkish visitors to tourist and religious sites in the Kingdom, suggesting for example, the addition of Jordan’s destinations to the itinerary of Turkish tourists visiting Jerusalem “to support Jordanian and Palestinian tourist agents”.
At his meeting with President Erdogan, Mulki reviewed Jordan’s stance on regional developments and common challenges, reiterating the Kingdom’s call for a political solution to the Syrian crisis.
Mulki commended the “distinguished” relations between Turkey and Jordan, adding that Amman is keen on developing these ties on all levels, in the interest of both countries.
Mulki stressed that the Palestinian-Israeli conflict remains the core issue in the Middle East, highlighting Jordan’s efforts to encourage Palestinians and Israelis to resume serious negotiations that lead to the establishment of a Palestinian state within the 1967 lines and with East Jerusalem as its capital.
The prime minister underlined the Hashemite custodianship on holy sites in Jerusalem and its role in preserving Al Aqsa Mosque/Al Haram Al Sharif as well as all other Muslim and Christian sites in Jerusalem.
Erdogan praised the Kingdom’s role in safeguarding Jerusalem’s shrines.
The Turkish president highlighted the significance of boosting cooperation in military training and manufacturing, maritime transport and trade exchange.
During the meeting with Prime Minister Yildirim, Mulki renewed the suggestion of creating special zones for Turkish industries in Aqaba and Mafraq.
The two sides agreed to launch a development cooperation programme between the Jordanian Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation and the Turkish ministry of development, to exchange expertise in development fields and support joint projects.
At a joint press conference following the talks, Mulki noted that the two sides agreed to enhance security and intelligence cooperation in the war against terrorist groups, while Yildirim highlighted Jordan and Turkey’s unity in the war against terrorism.
The Turkish premier pointed out a scheduled visit of Turkey’s ministers of economy and transport in Jordan, set to discuss investment opportunities and cooperation in an aim to boost regional collaboration.