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Jordan Valley Baptism Site, June 26 (Itar-Tass) —— Russian President Vladimir Putin, on a visit to Jordan, took part in the ceremony to open a guesthouse for Russian Christian pilgrims built at the Jordan Valley Site on the left bank of Jordan where, many believe, Jesus Christ was baptized.
Speaking at the ceremony, Putin thanked King Abdullah II of Jordan for supporting the project. “Our Jordanian friends have done the utmost so that our masters could build a Russian religious center here, and we know how important this is for thousands of pilgrims who arrive here every year,” he said. The president stressed that the preservation of sacred places brings peoples closer and serves lofty moral values.
Putin emphasized Jordan’s role in the strengthening of inter-religious peace. He recalled that the Amman Declaration was adopted on the initiative of King Abdullah II in 2005. “The ideas of the dialogue become more actual today in the Middle East and in the world,” he said.
Putin expressed the hope that peace, accord and understanding will be ever present in the home for Russian pilgrims.
A site for the center’s construction with an area of one hectare was presented to Russia as a gift in 2006. It is situated on the territory of the religious and architectural preserve The Jordan Valley Baptism Site.
The complex of buildings consists of a guesthouse for pilgrims, a domestic church, a refectory and a house for distinguished guests.
Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad, in his turn, thanked the Russian President for inaugurating the home for pilgrims and expressed certainty that the place will attract ever more tourists to Jordan.
“What is more, pilgrims from Russia, unlike pilgrims from the West, are very determined and can be relied on: they don’t give up the idea to travel to Jordan if there is some crisis, some dramatic event in Iraq, Palestine or some other country,” Prince Ghazi said. Jordan is ready to receive from 500 to 2,000 pilgrims from Russia every month, he added.