01 Mar 2018
Jordan's King: Fight against terror isn't war on any religion
Jordan's King Abdullah II bin Al-Hussein, who is on a three-day visit to India, spoke on the topic "Islamic heritage; Promoting Understanding and Moderation" at Vigyan Bhavan in Delhi.
He stressed that the global fight against terror isn't a war on any religion or Muslims; instead, it's a war against hate and violence.
Meanwhile, how has his visit progressed?
Here's all about it.
King Abdullah was accorded a special welcome at the airport
PM Narendra Modi has been wooing the Arab nation that has traditionally been a Pakistan ally.
During the PM's visit to Amman two weeks ago as part of his West Asia tour, King Abdullah welcomed Modi personally at his palace. He had also arranged for his helicopter to take the PM to Palestine.
Modi reciprocated by receiving the Jordanian King warmly at the airport.
What were King Abdullah's engagements in India?
Earlier, King Abdullah met External Affairs minister Sushma Swaraj.
From there, he visited IIT Delhi to consider collaboration possibilities with Jordan technical institutes.
He also attended a CEO Round-table and an India-Jordan Business Forum, organized by FICCI, CII and ASSOCHAM.
Today, he received a ceremonial reception at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. He also visited Rajghat to pay tribute to Mahatma Gandhi.
What did King Abdullah say at the Vigyan Bhavan?
Subsequently, King Abdullah addressed the conference, reportedly attended by representatives from Islamic institutions, academicians and think-tanks. Earlier, PM Modi appreciated his work towards "de-radicalization."
He asserted that Prophet Muhammad preached compassion, humanity and mercy. He urged that misinformation that terrorists spread should be checked as it causes suspicion. This in turn "stirs conflict."
He said Jordan is working with the world for peace.
What is the significance of this visit?
Following this address, King Abdullah met his Indian counterpart, Modi at Hyderabad House for their bilateral meeting.
Defense, security and investments were the focus areas.
Twelve agreements were signed related to defense cooperation, health, medicine and media among others.
Incidentally, Jordan plays an important role in India's food security by providing fertilizers and phosphates.
Moreover, India is Jordan's fourth largest trade partner.
What does this imply for India-Jordan relations?
India has been investing diplomatic leverage to involve Gulf countries in a dialogue over radical Islam-based terrorism. The Jordanian King's visit indicates that Modi's "Think West" policy is taking flight.
King Abdullah's Jordan, popular for promoting inter-faith dialogue, is one of the few Muslim countries which has diplomatic ties with Israel.
As India-Jordan face similar issues of terrorism/extremism, Modi's outreach will be useful.