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Russian, Jordanian top diplomats to hold talks in Moscow on April 29

April 29, 2017, 3:58 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The two men are expected to discuss the situation in the Middle East, including Syria and the Palestinian-Israeli settlement, as well as bilateral cooperation

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MOSCOW, April 29. /TASS/. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and his Jordanian counterpart Ayman Al-Safadi will hold talks in Moscow on Saturday. This is a second time Al-Safadi is visiting the Russian capital in his present capacity. The two men are expected to discuss the situation in the Middle East, including Syria and the Palestinian-Israeli settlement, as well as bilateral cooperation.

Cooperation over Syria

Traditionally the Russian-Jordanian political agenda encompasses the whole range of Middle East settlement issues.

Although they have different visions of Syrian President Bashar Assad’s political future, Moscow and Amman maintain cooperation on settling the Syrian conflict. King Abdullah II, of Jordan, appreciates Russia’s role in arranging for intra-Syrian talks. He promised that Jordan would promote in every possible way the creation of mechanisms of cooperation between Russia and the United States over Syria.

In their telephone conversations Lavrov and Al-Safadi repeatedly underscored the need for coordinated action in the struggle against terrorist groups in Syria.

Jordan regularly takes part in international meetings on Syria in Astana at the level of experts. Another round of such consultations is due on May 3-4. Delegations from Damascus, the armed opposition, Russia, Iran and Turkey, as well as the United Nations, the US and Jordan will take part.

After the Astana meeting negotiations in Switzerland are expected to resume. Moscow has repeatedly warned against delaying the Geneva consultations, because this will be fraught with adverse effects on the political settlement process.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova earlier spoke highly of Jordan’s contribution to maintaining truce in Syria.

Iraq and Palestinian-Israeli settlement

In Iraq, Moscow and Amman support the government’s efforts aimed at eliminating the hotbed of international terrorism - the Islamic State (outlawed in Russia). As the Russian and Jordanian foreign ministers said at their previous meeting, both countries agree that the settlement of Iraq’s fundamental problems and its years-long internal conflict can be achieved only on the basis of an inclusive dialog with all political forces and ethnic and religious groups present in the legal space taking part.

Russia and Jordan are for the implementation of the UN Security Council’s resolution 242 on the pullout of Israeli troops from the occupied territories. They condemn the illegal construction of Israeli settlements in Palestinian territories.

At their previous meeting Lavrov and Al-Safadi underscored the importance of effective measures by external actors for defusing tensions in the Palestinian territories and restoring Palestinian unity as mandatory preconditions for putting the situation back on the track of negotiations.

Economic cooperation

Russian-Jordanian bilateral trade, once steady on the rise, in 2015 shrank by half against 2014 (to $543 million), with farm produce accounting for 50%. Russia exports to Jordan oil products and ferrous metals. Jordan exports to Russia pharmaceuticals, inorganic chemistry products and clothes.

A joint inter-government commission for trading, economic, scientific and technological cooperation has been responsible for coordinating bilateral cooperation since 2013. Last time it met in session in the Jordanian capital in March 2016.

Moscow and Amman maintain active interaction in nuclear power and conduct military-technical cooperation. The Russian nuclear power corporation Rosatom on November 1, 2013 won a bidding contest for building Jordan’s first nuclear power plant. Feasibility studies for the project are to be finalized by the middle of this year. In September 2016 Russia and Jordan on the sidelines of the 60th general conference of the IAEA signed a memorandum of understanding on the training and instruction of personnel for nuclear power and related industries.

In 2016, Jordan declared its intention to address the Eurasian Economic Commission with a request for starting negotiations on the conclusion of a free trade agreement with the Eurasian Economic Union.

Political dialog

In January 2017, there was a meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Jordan’s King Abdullah II. The Russian leader said he was glad the summit dialog was progressing steadily.

King Abdullah II noted Russia’s critically important role in efforts to settle the Syrian and many other regional issues.

In a recent interview granted to The Washington Post King Abdullah II urged the West to take a comprehensive attitude to relations with Russia in order to achieve agreement on a number of problems, first and foremost, Crimea.

"To them, Crimea is important, Syria is important, Ukraine, and we see them in Libya. The Americans and Europeans must deal with the Russians on all these issues simultaneously," King Abdullah II said. "For the Russians I think the most important thing is Crimea. If you come to an understanding on Crimea, I think you will see much more flexibility on Syria, and I think Ukraine then becomes the least problematic.".

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