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Russia's President, Jordan's King to discuss prospects for joint hi-tech projects

April 09, 2014, 6:25 UTC+3 MOSCOW
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MOSCOW, April 09, /ITAR-TASS/. King Abdullah II of Joirdan arrives in Russia on Wednesday at the invitation of RF President Vladimir Putin, the Kremlin press service reported.

At summit-level talks, the sides are "to consider bilateral cooperation matters of current importance, specifically prospects for joint projects in hi-tech fields, incluing nuclear power engineering and technical military cooperation," a press service official pointed out.

Jordan, which is dependeny on the supply of oil and gas from neighbouring countries, expends more than 20 percent of the budget to meet its requirements for electric power. In view of this, the construction of the first national nuclear power station (NPS) is one of the most prioritized tasks of the government.

In 2013, Russia won a tender to build an NPS. Talks on concluding, in prospect, a bilateral intergovernmental agreement are currently under way.

The sides are to determine finally a site for building the facility of strategic importance to the economy of the country which is situated in the very heart of the Middle East. Earlier, it was first meant to build an NPS in an area located at a distance of 25 km from Aqaba, on the shore of the Red Sea, then in the northern part of the Kingdom. Options for building an NPS in Jordanian desert in an area with the least seismicity.

The NPS construction cost is estimaed at $8 billion. It is expected that the agreement will be signed in 2016 with an eye to energizing the first power unit by the beginning of the 2020s.

According to local media reports, a joint-venture enterprise, willbe established, in which 51 percent of shares will belong to the Jordanian side while the Russian partner (Rosatom, or one of its companies) will own 49 percent.

The President of the Russian Federation and the King of Jordan are also expected to discuss regional security matters, the situation in Syria and the Middle East peace process, in particular.

Russia consistently comes out in favour of settling the Syrian crisis exclusively in a peaceful vein by the Syrians themselves, without interference from the outside, and in favour of the need for immediate cessation of bloodshed in that country, and ensuring the launch of a broad counrywide dialogue with a view to normalizing the situation.This is especially important, considering that the situation in Syria has a negative effect on the socio-political and economic state of affairs in contiguous countries, among them Jordan which has received more than 600,000 Syrian refugees in its territory.

The development of technical military cooperation between the two countries may be yet another subject of discussion at the meeting. The Russian President, when speaking at a ceremony of the presentation of credentials by the Ambassadors of foreign countries in the Kremlin already stated that he visualises great prospects in this respect.

The press service official has pointed out that Russia and Jordan maintain a regular political dialogue, strengthen trade-and-economic contacts, and give greater scope to humanitarian exchanges.

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