100th anniversary of the Kingdom of Jordan
PM recently congratulated King Abdullah II on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Kingdom of Jordan.
He emphasized the importance of the region and applauded Jordan as a powerful voice and a global symbol of moderation and inclusivity.
He appreciated Aqaba Process has contributed to promoting coordination on regional peace and security.
The Aqaba Process is an initiative by His Majesty King Abdullah II of Jordan to enhance global coordination and cooperation to counter-terrorism.
Recent Political Instability in Jordan
The royal household in Jordan has recently seen intense drama, with the King’s popular half-brother and former crown prince being placed under de facto house arrest.
Signs of a Coup
- Jordanian government statements have has stated that there had been an attempted coup to destabilize the country, mentioning unnamed “foreign entities” involved in the plot.
- The events have thus put a spotlight on Jordan’s unique position as one of the most stable countries in the Arab world, and given rise to questions about who could stand to benefit from the alleged coup.
Jordan’s Importance in the Region
- Jordan, which this year celebrates 100 years since its creation after World War I, has for decades remained stable in a part of the world that is prone to conflict and political uncertainty.
- For its allies in the West and in the Gulf, Jordan is a strategic partner which can be relied upon for furthering political objectives in the region, which includes war-torn Syria and Iraq as well as conflict-prone Israel and Palestine.
- The support of Jordanian intelligence has proven critically important in the fight against terrorism.
- Though impoverished, the country of about a crore people has served as a haven for refugees in the conflict-ridden region.
The asylum giver
- After the Arab-Israeli wars of 1948 and 1967, Jordan received waves of refugees, to the point that about half of Jordan’s population today is made up of Palestinians.
- It has also welcomed refugees after the 2003 US invasion of Iraq, and currently hosts over 10 lakh from Syria, where a protracted civil war is going on.
- Jordan is also considered important to any future peace deal between Israel and Palestine.
Jordan’s Relation with Other Countries
- Traditionally, Jordan has maintained close relations with the US, and the fellow Sunni Muslim powers of Saudi Arabia and the UAE, which together stand against Shia Iran.
- It also has diplomatic relations with Israel, and the two countries have been bound by a peace treaty since 1994.
- In recent years, however, Jordan’s relations with the Saudis and UAE have seen ups and downs.
- It has been particularly since the rise of their respective crown prince Mohammed bin Salman (known by the initials MBS) and Mohammed bin Zayed (MBZ).
- One of the points of friction was Saudi-UAE’s blockade of Qatar in 2017.
- It caused further consternation in Saudi and Emirati circles by maintaining strong ties with Turkey.
Ties with Israel
- Jordan’s role as the region’s interlocutor has also diminished since last year, after the UAE normalized relations with Israel.
India is the 4th largest trading partner of Jordan. The trade agreement between India and Jordan is governed by the 1976 bilateral agreement. When King of Jordan visited India in 2018, 18 Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between India and Jordan, to increase collaboration in the sphere of defense, cultural exchange, trade, health and education.
Political Relations between India and Jordan:
- In 2015, Jordan inaugurated Mahatma Gandhi road and also dedicated an olive tree for world peace during the visit of India’s President to Jordan.
- India and Jordan in 2015 launched 860 million US dollars JIFCO Joint Venture.
Cultural Relations between India and Jordan:
- Jordon has participated in the 15th Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas, Hindi Diwas, National Voters Day and ICCR Foundation Day.
- An annual iftar event was jointly organized in Amman in 2019 for 100 kids of different orphan schools.
- Jordon participated in the 4th International Day of Yoga in 2019.
Commodities Exported by India to Jordan
- India exports various commodities to Jordan. The list of items are given below.
- Frozen Meat
- Engineering and Automotive Parts
- Animal Fodder
- Organic and Inorganic chemicals.
- Both the countries have the potential to work as natural allies as both countries are peaceful, stable and are witnessing rapid economic growth and have similar positions on regional and global affairs. Their attempts to bring stability and prosperity to the region should be complemented with well-thought out policies and strategic diplomacy.
- Indian businesses should utilize the expansive web of FTAs available with Jordan. ICT, renewable energy, financial/banking services, leather, automobile, higher education, tourism, Bollywood, pharmaceuticals and construction sectors present the good potential for increased trade and investment.
- India should carefully weigh its options about the possible coup in the region and take steps to ensure stability remains maintained in the region.