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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 15 December 2018

Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed arrives in Jordan for talks with King Abdullah

Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi witnesses agreement to grant $100 million (Dh367.3m) to Jordanian businesses

The UAE signed a $100 million (Dh367.3m) grant to support tens of thousands of Jordanian businesses, during Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed’s visit to Amman on Tuesday.

The Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces and King Abdullah of Jordan witnessed the signing of the agreement between the Khalifa Fund, an organisation that supports entrepreneurs in the UAE, and Jordan's Crown Prince Foundation, at Al Husseiniya Palace.

This grant will finance 22,000 small and medium-sized enterprises in Jordan over the next five years with the aim of creating 28,000 jobs for young Jordanians. Projects focused on women will account for 47 per cent of the funding, with rural areas of Jordan to receive 40 per cent of the finance, reported state news agency Wam.

On Tuesday, aircraft from the Royal Jordanian Air Force accompanied Sheikh Mohamed's plane as he entered the country's airspace.

He was greeted by King Abdullah on the tarmac, and was welcomed with a 21-gun salute.

The national anthems of both countries were played, then Sheikh Mohamed and King Abdullah inspected the guard of honour.

In a meeting, the two discussed issues of mutual interest, including increased investments and co-operation between both countries as well as regional developments.

They each said they were keen to further develop ties between the UAE and Jordan and continue co-operating to confront terrorism.

King Abdullah presented Sheikh Mohamed with the Order of Hussein Ibn Ali in appreciation of the role in supporting co-operation between the two countries.

Sheikh Mohamed thanked the Jordanian king, saying the ties between both countries ran deep and were founded by UAE Founding Father, Sheikh Zayed and the late King Hussein bin Talal.

In another act of friendship, King Abdullah ordered Jordan’s Rapid Intervention brigade – part of the country’s armed forces – be renamed as the Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Rapid Intervention Brigade.

The visit comes about a week after the UAE flew three deliveries of emergency aid to help victims of flooding in Jordan.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, ordered more than 100 tonnes of aid be sent to Jordan after 34 people were killed and thousands were left stranded in the flash flooding that struck the Dead Sea area.

In October, the UAE extended $833 million (Dh3.1 billion) in support to Jordan as part of a $2.5bn package being provided along with Kuwait and Saudi Arabia to help stabilise the economy amid record debt levels and unemployment.

On Wednesday, Sheikh Mohamed will travel to Paris to meet the French President Emmanuel Macron.