India, Jordan ink 12 pacts to boost defence ties

India and Jordan signed a framework defence agreement which envisages a whole range of possibilities from defence acquisitions by Jordan to defence exercises and closer security cooperation. India and Jordan signed 12 agreements after the high level talks, covering areas as diverse as mass media, health, culture and tourism. But the area of interest for both countries is clearly defence and security. King Mr Abdullah, who is himself a trained para-trooper and a Sandhurst alumni, inspected the Indian-made Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) at Palam, and reviewed an anti-terrorism demonstration by NSG at Manesar. During the discussions, both countries reiterated their support for the Palestine cause, officials said. India and Jordan started a cyber security dialogue in July 2017, and want to take it further. Briefing journalists, secretary (ER) TS Mr. Tirumurti said, “This is a framework defence agreement, where several areas of cooperation are delineated. We are exploring different areas of cooperation. So while nothing specific was discussed, we are exploring possibilities.” He said while the King surveyed the ALH, there was no talk yet of any sale. King Mr Abdullah addressed the Indian industry and invited Indian companies to utilise Mr Jordan as a gateway to Europe and the US, taking advantage of its free trade agreements with these vast markets. Sources said a number of Bto-B agreements were signed. Mr Jordan has already asked for assistance for its massive refugee population which include 1.3 billion Syrians, as well as Iraqis and Palestinians. Last year, India gave a cash donation of $2 million, but this year, it will be giving $5 million in vaccines and medicines to Mr Jordan.


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