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Jordan, Brunei sign deals to advance ties, expand cooperation


The Jordan Times


AMMAN — His Majesty King Abdullah and Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah of Brunei held talks at Al Husseiniya Palace on Thursday that focused on the “deep-rooted and brotherly ties between the two countries and current regional developments,” a Royal Court statement said. 
In bilateral talks, which were followed by expanded ones attended by HRH Crown Prince Hussein and Prince Abdul Mateen Haji Hassanal Bolkiah, King Abdullah and Sultan Bolkiah affirmed their keenness to strengthen cooperation in economic, commercial, military and educational fields.
At the expanded meeting, attended by senior officials on both sides, His Majesty welcomed Sultan Bolkiah, stressing the importance of his visit in solidifying ties between the two countries.
The King also noted the strong, warm ties between the peoples and Royal Families of Jordan and Brunei, congratulating Sultan Bolkiah on the 51st anniversary of his accession to the throne.
His Majesty also commended Brunei’s ability to navigate challenges with calm, common sense and dialogue.
Referring to memoranda of understanding and an agreement signed between the two countries on Thursday in the fields of defence, tourism, customs and infrastructure, the King said: “That, again, is a message to our peoples how close and important the relationship is.”
His Majesty highlighted cooperation in trade, investment and security, thanking Brunei for participating in the Aqaba meetings to coordinate a holistic approach to countering terrorism and extremism.
The King also thanked Sultan Bolkiah for Brunei’s strong role in defending Jerusalem and supporting the Palestinian people in Gaza and the West Bank.
“You have always looked at the challenges that people have in our region. And although you are all the way over in Asia, this part of the world is close to your heart,” the King told Sultan Bolkiah.
For his part, Sultan Bolkiah thanked His Majesty for the invitation and hospitality, noting how Jordan has continued its development since his last visit in 2009.
“I commend Your Majesty for your able leadership and your progress in the implementation of Jordan’s Vision 2025 that aims to revitalise Jordan’s economy,” the sultan said.
“This visit gives us the opportunity to strengthen our relations and to review our bilateral cooperation. I am grateful to see that since the establishment of our diplomatic ties, 33 years ago, our relationship has developed into a close friendship,” he added, also noting the importance of the memoranda of understanding and agreement signed on Thursday.
On the sidelines of the sultan’s visit, Jordan and Brunei signed three memoranda of understanding in defence, tourism and infrastructure, in addition to an agreement on cooperation in customs.
Sultan Bolkiah also highlighted the two countries’ strong defence cooperation and the frequent exchange of training programmes for officials.
The expanded talks covered investment opportunities in Jordan in the ICT, pharmaceutical and food production sectors, in addition to its strategic location as a gateway into several markets.
Regional challenges and crises were also discussed, foremost of which is the Palestinian cause and Jerusalem.
His Majesty stressed the importance of supporting the Palestinians in gaining their legitimate rights to independent statehood, based on the two-state solution on the June 4, 1967, lines with East Jerusalem as their capital.
The King affirmed that Jordan will persist in undertaking its historical and religious role in safeguarding Islamic and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem, in line with the Hashemite Custodianship.
Moreover, the talks covered the financial challenges facing UNRWA and the importance of sustaining its educational, health and relief services.
Efforts to fight terrorism within a holistic approach and Jordan’s growing Syrian refugee burden were also discussed at the expanded meeting.
His Majesty hosted an official lunch in honour of Sultan Bolkiah and the accompanying delegation, attended by a number of Royal Family members and senior officials.

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