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President concludes his three-nation visit on positive note

New Delhi: President Pranab Mukherjee on Friday said during his three-nation -Jordan, Palestine and Israel – visits he informed the leaderships of those countries on the initiatives of the Indian Government in various fields to explore possibilities of enhanced cooperation in bilateral, regional and international context.

” Jordan King Abdullah II supported India’s candidature to permanent membership of an expanded UN Security Council and the ongoing UN reform process, and expressed willingness to enter into long-term arrangements for supply of phosphates to India,” he said in a statement.

India and Jordan explored possibilities of opening up new synergies in different areas of mutual interests, including counter terrorism, defence, IT, and energy. A total of 16 MoUs and agreements, including between academic institutions, were finalised. And, a major avenue in Amman was named after Mahatma Gandhi during my visit,” said President Mukherjee, who concluded his tree-country visit.

During his visit, President Mukherjee and King Abdullah II inaugurated a 860 million dollar-project of Jordan-India Fertilizer Co, a joint venture between IFFCO and the Jordan Phosphate Mines Company, to produce phosphoric acid for export to India.

In Palestine, the President reiterated India’s principled support to the Palestinian cause and called for a negotiated solution resulting in a sovereign, independent, viable and united State of Palestine, with East Jerusalem as its capital as endorsed in the Quartet Roadmap and relevant to the UNSC Resolutions.

President Mukherjee announced increase of ICCR scholarships from 10 to 25 per annum and ITEC slots from 50 to 100 for Palestine, and also handed over a cheque for 5 million dollar as budgetary support to the Palestinian authority.

India and Israel signed two agreements, while eight MoUs were exchanged between educational institutions of India and Israel to promote cooperation in the field of higher education between the two countries and provide for joint research, exchange of scholars, etc.

The President also announced the Government of India’s decision to set up an IT park in Ramallah at an estimated cost of 12 million dollar and a Palestinian Institute of Diplomacy at an estimated cost of 4.5 million dollar.

“I described Israel as one of the most important countries for India and conveyed the need for our two countries to reinvigorate bilateral ties in all areas of our engagement. Israel has provided defence equipment, platforms and systems at a time when India needed them the most,” he said.

India and Israel discussed the need to expand cooperation in solar energy, dairy development, water management, horticulture, animal husbandry and agriculture as well as cooperation between Indian Space Research Organisation and Israeli Space Agency.

President Mukherjee also invited Israeli President Rivlin and Prime Minister Netanyahu to visit India. “President Rivlin accepted my invitation and confirmed his intention to do so at an early date. I also invited Israeli Parliamentarians to come to India and engage with their Indian counterparts,” he said. (ANI)