(MENAFN - Jordan Times) Jordan and Russia on Wednesday signed a memorandum of understanding to boost cooperation in the fields of oil exploration and energy.
Meanwhile, the two countries renewed support for peace efforts in the Middle East that lead to an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital, a Royal Court statement said.
During a meeting yesterday, His Majesty King Abdullah and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev discussed steps to enhance cooperation in the field of nuclear energy, through Russia's investment in the Jordan's nuclear programme, as well as the transport, water and agriculture sectors.
The two leaders stressed their commitment to institutionalised and effective mechanisms to further enhance cooperation, particularly in the economic, investment and trade fields.
The mechanisms include the cancellation of double taxation, cooperation in the fields of transport and food security and taking effective measures to accelerate and develop Russians investments in the Kingdom.
The Royal Court statement quoted the King as saying ahead of the meeting with Medvedev that he was satisfied with the level of ties between Jordan and Russia, especially at the economic level, indicating that the meeting was an opportunity to further develop these relations.
For his part, Medvedev, who later concluded the two-day visit to the Kingdom, stressed his country's keenness to boost ties at all levels.
Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Suleiman Hafez and his Russian counterpart Sergei Shmatko signed the cooperation memo yesterday as well as the minutes of the meeting with the Russian state-controlled company JSC Zarubezhneft.
Under the deal, the Russian side will encourage companies to invest in the oil and gas sectors in the Kingdom through partnership agreements covering the production and exploration sides, in addition to infrastructure.
It also stipulates exchanging expertise and information on advanced oil- and gas-related technologies.
In the field of electricity, Moscow will be encouraging Russian companies to enter tenders for electricity projects, including those produced by renewable energy sources.
The two sides will hold annual meetings in Moscow and Amman to follow up on the implementation of the agreement.
Meanwhile, Minister of Planning and International Cooperation Jafar Hassan highlighted Russia's interest to invest in Jordan's nuclear power schemes.
He said that the ministry has prepared a draft programme for cooperation between the Kingdom and Russia over the next three years.
He added the two countries renewed months ago the scientific and cultural cooperation agreement for 2010-2012.
Jordan and Russia are signatory to several economic, technical, trade and investment agreements.
The trade volume between the two countries has witnessed notable development during the past four years as imports from Russia reached JD247 million in 2009, while exports stood at JD11 million.
Imports from Russia reached JD156 until the end of November last year, while the Jordanian exports to Russia amounted at JD9.1 million.
The number of Russian tourists visiting the Kingdom stood at 70,000 in 2010, a 14.3 per cent increase compared to 2009.
King Abdullah and the visiting president agreed to continue coordination through foreign ministers to help achieve tangible progress in efforts aimed to implement the two-state solution, which ensures the establishment of an independent Palestinian state that lives side by side with Israel.
Jordan will continue welcoming Russia's effective and integral role to bring about stability in the region and the resumption of Palestinian-Israeli negotiations that result in the two-state solution, the King said.
Outlining the output of his talks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah Tuesday, Medvedev said that Russia will not spare any effort to bring about peace in the region.
I told my Palestinian friends that the establishment of a unified, sovereign and modern Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital is the ultimate goal, Medvedev was quoted as saying by the Royal Court statement.
Also yesterday, Minister of Foreign Affairs Nasser Judeh met with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov and discussed the latest developments in the region and means to bring about peace in the Middle East based on the two-state solution and according to the agreed-on term of references, including the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative.