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Putin, King of Jordan to discuss agricultural cooperation, situation in Middle East

October 02, 2014, 2:39 UTC+3 MOSCOW
King Abdullah II already visited Moscow earlier this year - on April 9
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MOSCOW, October 2. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet on Thursday with King Abdullah II of Jordan, who is arriving in Moscow on a working visit at the invitation of the Russian leader.

“During the high-level talks, the sides are expected to consider issues of bilateral cooperation, including prospects of fulfilling joint energy, infrastructure and agricultural projects on the territory of the Kingdom with the participation of Russian companies,” the Kremlin press service said.

The sides will also exchange views on a range of regional issues, including the situation in Syria, Libya and the Middle East peace process.

The Russian president meets the King of Jordan on a regular basis. King Abdullah II already visited Moscow earlier this year - on April 9. Back then, he discussed with the Russian president the situation in the Middle East and prospects for joint projects in high technology sectors, such as nuclear power engineering and the military technical sphere.

Jordan, which depends on oil supplies from its neighbours, sends more than 20% of its budget to satisfy domestic demand in electricity. In this context, the country’s government sees it as its top priority task to build Jordan’s first nuclear plant in the Zarqa province.

In 2013, Russia won a tender for the construction of a two-unit power plant with an aggregate capacity of 2,000 megawatt. The project, when implemented, will satisfy the Kingdom’s electricity demand and will make it possible for Jordan to export electricity to other countries - Syria and Iraq. Investments in the project are estimated at ten billion U.S. dollars. The project will be the biggest one in the history of Russia-Jordan relations. Russia’s state nuclear corporation Rosatom has recently signed an agreement on the development of the project. A full-scale contract is expected to be inked in a span of 18-24 months.

Negotiations on cooperation in the farming sector will be held on the background of the food import restrictions imposed by Russia in August in response to Western sanctions against it. Currently, the Russian authorities are looking for alternative exporters of vegetables, fruits and other products to fill the gap in its food imports due to the ban.

The visit of the King of Jordan is taking place on the background of unprecedented aggravation of the situation in Iraq and Syria, which are facing security challenges from the terrorist organization the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). The ISIL, numbering from 30,000 to 50,000 militants, is seen as a major threat to global security. The United States is currently forming a coalition, which now includes Great Britain, Australia and a number of other European and Middle East countries (Jordan among them), to fight against the ISIL.

The King of Jordan, which shares a border with Syria, addressed the United Nations General Assembly in New York last week, calling for a collective strategy to defeat militants targeting Syria and Iraq.

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