Later, Mr Putin and King Abdullah II took part in the opening of a hospice for Russian pilgrims on the territory of a special archaeological site known as the Baptism Site of Jesus Christ on the Jordan River.
The construction of the hospice began at Mr Putin’s initiative after King Abdullah II gave to the Russian Federation a 1-hectare plot of land for free and perpetual use in 2006. Russia gained the right of ownership to the land in 2012.
The President decorated Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad, chief religious and cultural adviser and personal envoy to King Abdullah II, with the Order of Friendship for his big contribution to strengthening the friendship and cooperation between Russia and Jordan.
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King Abdullah II of Jordan (retranslated): Mr President, I would like to welcome you here, to use this opportunity to welcome you on behalf of our entire delegation.
Russia and Jordan have always been bound by good, friendly relations, and your visit here at the beginning of your presidential term once again confirms the special nature of the relations between our two states. Today, you will also participate in the opening of a guesthouse for Russian pilgrims. The land for this building was granted by the Government of Jordan; this is another gesture of our good relations, which will continue to strengthen thanks to your visit.
I hope that your visit will also allow us to strengthen economic and social relations. On the political level, we have always had very good relations. I would like to thank you for coming and express my hope that we will have very fruitful talks.
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Your Majesty, friends,
It is a real pleasure for me to be in Jordan again, especially for such a pleasant reason as the opening of the guesthouse for pilgrims. In this regard, I would like to thank you, Your Majesty, for this generous gesture, for assigning to the Russian Federation a stretch of land to build the guesthouse. We view it as a gesture of the particular relations between Jordan and Russia.
Five or six years ago, I met here with Prince Ghazi and it was he who suggested that we build this centre here, which we will be opening today. I recall how impressed I was by his stories about Jordan, and I also remember how he talked about your country, about world history. It was certainly very descriptive, very interesting, and it was then that we decided to build this house.
Your Majesty, we are satisfied with the level of our political dialogue. A great deal can and should still be done in our economic relations. I am very happy for the opportunity to meet with you within the framework of this humanitarian event, to talk about the situation in the region and to compare notes on currently critical regions and hot spots.
We have always approached Jordan’s position with a great attention and respect. We have established very friendly relations. We will do everything possible to further develop them in the future.