King Abdullah II bin Al-Hussein, who arrived in New Delhi on Tuesday on a three-day visit, was accorded a grand welcome with Prime Minister Narendra Modi receiving him at the airport, in a special gesture.
The Jordanian King's visit comes nearly three weeks after Modi travelled to Jordan as part of his trip to West Asia, including Palestine.
'Welcomed His Majesty King Abdullah II to Delhi. It’s wonderful to meet him again, after my brief halt at Amman earlier this month. His visit to India will further deepen bilateral ties between our nations. I look forward to our talks on Thursday,' Modi tweeted.
The prime minister and the King will hold extensive talks on Thursday covering entire expanse of bilateral ties, official sources said adding, the Palestinian issue and ways to deal with terrorism, radicalisation and extremism are likely to figure prominently in the deliberations.
'India welcomes His Majesty @KingAbdullahII Ibn Al Hussein, King of the Hashemite Kingdom of #Jordan on his State Visit. Deviating from protocol, PM @narendramodi welcomes His Majesty at the Airport. India attaches great importance to its ties with Jordan,' External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted.
Modi received the Jordanian King at the airport, a week after his absence there to welcome Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had triggered questions over whether it was a snub by India to the visiting leader.
The King, a 41st generation direct descendant of Prophet Muhammad, will also deliver a special address on Islamic heritage and promoting moderation on Thursday morning which is expected to be attended by Modi.
Diplomats, representatives from Islamic institutions of all denominations, academicians, think-tanks and representatives from across the country are expected to attend the event.
The King is known for his global initiative to fight radicalisation and terrorism. He is also the custodian of the Al-Aqsa mosque, the third holiest site in Islam, located in the Old City of Jerusalem.
India considers Jordan an 'oasis of stability and harmony' in conflict-ridden West Asia and New Delhi would like to deepen bilateral ties with the country during the King's visit, official sources said.
Both sides will also look to finalise a framework for defence cooperation, they said.
The sources said both sides are expected to ink a number of agreements to expand cooperation in several key sectors including healthcare, IT, customs and will look to firm up a framework pact for defence and security cooperation.
In their talks, Modi and the King are also likely to explore ways of deepening trade ties. Twenty textile industries from India have invested around USD 300 million in Jordan.
Jordan's royal helicopters had flown Modi and his delegation from Amman to Ramallah and back during the visit.
The Jordanian King is accompanied by a high-level business delegation.
IMAGE: Prime Minister Narendra Modi receives King Abdullah II bin Al-Hussein, the king of Jordan, in New Delhi on Tuesday evening. Photograph: Kind courtesy @narendramodi/Twitter