Jordan Times | March 18 2010
King, Brazil’s Lula discuss means to boost bilateral ties
AMMAN (JT) — His Majesty King Abdullah on Wednesday held talks with Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva that focused on mechanisms to develop economic relations between the two countries.
The talks, attended by Prime Minister Samir Rifai and several other senior Jordanian and Brazilian officials, followed a one-on-one meeting between King Abdullah and the Brazilian president, who arrived on a two-day working visit to the Kingdom yesterday.
During the talks, King Abdullah voiced satisfaction over the level of bilateral ties, according to a Royal Court statement.
In October 2008, King Abdullah paid a visit to Brazil during which the two countries signed 11 agreements and memoranda of understanding that covered cooperation in the fields of economy, tourism, education, culture, and science and technology.
In yesterday’s meeting, King Abdullah discussed with the Brazilian president, commonly referred to as Lula, means to enhance cooperation in the fields of alternative energy, industry, water and agriculture.
Lula, the first Brazilian president to visit Jordan, expressed his country’s interest in taking practical steps to develop sustainable economic cooperation with the Kingdom, establish joint projects and build economic partnership, the statement said.
Noting that Jordan values the growing political and economic role of Brazil, King Abdullah stressed the Kingdom’s appreciation for Brazilian policies to activate Jordanian-Brazilian cooperation and achieve just and comprehensive peace in the Middle East.
Addressing regional issues, the two leaders discussed means to overcome obstacles impeding progress towards resolving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict on the basis of the two-state solution.
The two leaders also underlined the importance of the Jordanian-Brazilian Economic Forum, which will be held today with the participation of 50 Brazilian and 500 Jordanian businessmen. The forum will provide an opportunity for the two sides to discuss the possibility of establishing joint investment projects, the statement indicated.
King Abdullah and the Brazilian president agreed to work intensively to wrap up talks towards the signing of a free trade agreement between Jordan and the Mercosur trade bloc, which comprises several Latin American countries, including Brazil.
Established in 1991, the Southern Common Market seeks to encourage free trade with other world countries.
Industry and Trade Minister Amer Hadidi on Wednesday underlined the importance of joint business forum that will convene today, saying it is in line with the Kingdom’s efforts to implement mega-projects in the fields of energy and water, which require funds and partnerships with foreign investors.
Also yesterday, Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh signed an agreement with his Brazilian counterpart Celso Amorim to cancel the visa requirements for diplomatic and private passport holders from both countries or those who are traveling on a foreign ministry mission.
The agreement seeks to enhance Jordanian-Brazilian diplomatic ties.
Later Wednesday, King Abdullah and Her Majesty Queen Rania hosted a dinner banquet in honor of the Brazilian president, his wife, Marisa Leticia Lula da Silva and the accompanying delegation.
Several members of the Royal family, and senior officials and officers attended the banquet.