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Singapore, Jordan ink more deals to strengthen ties

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Jordanian King says both nations have new opportunities that will bring them closer together

As small countries with limited resources, both Singapore and Jordan must remain nimble to deal with external challenges, said President Halimah Yacob yesterday during a state banquet held in honour of King Abdullah II of Jordan.

And Singapore looks forward to working with Jordan to weave more threads of cooperation into their tapestry of relations, she added.

The formal dinner at the Istana rounded off the King's two-day state visit to Singapore, during which the two countries inked a pact to set up a bilateral consultation mechanism to enhance communication between their officials.

A second agreement on water resource management was also signed by the Jordanian Ministry of Water and Irrigation and Singapore's Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources.

It will promote cooperation in areas such as water reuse, desalination and wastewater treatment.

At last night's banquet, the King recounted how the Singapore-Jordan relationship went back to when Singapore became independent in 1965. Jordan was one of four countries to sponsor the fledgling nation's membership application to the United Nations.

"We have new opportunities and new pages we can write that will bring us much closer together," the King said.

He added: "My people tell me that this is the best-organised exchange that they've had for any country in quite a long time."

The King was on his third state visit to Singapore. The earlier visits were in 2001 and 2014.

He was accompanied by his chief royal councillor and brother, Prince Hashim bin Al Hussein; his chief adviser on religious cultural affairs and personal envoy, Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad; and a high-level official delegation.

The King had delivered the keynote speech at the inaugural International Conference on Cohesive Societies yesterday morning, during which he stressed the need for people and nations to push back against the attack on interfaith harmony, mutual respect and trust.

The conference, which started on Wednesday and ends today, aims to promote understanding between different communities.

Noting that peace and stability in the Middle East "have never been of greater importance", Madam Halimah commended the King for being a strong advocate for peaceful dialogue for Jordan and the entire region.

The King received the top Catholic award in March for promoting human rights, interfaith dialogue and Middle East peace, and for taking in Syrian refugees fleeing the conflict in their country.

Yesterday evening, the King also met Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

They discussed developments in the Middle East and exchanged views on ways to strengthen economic links between Jordan and Singapore, said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a statement yesterday.


Singapore Politics