The exceedingly small number of foreign heads of state who have visited Grozny, the capital city of Russia’s Chechen Republic, increased by one last week when Jordan’s King Abdullah II met there with Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov. Though neither side offered any real detail on their discussions, the central topic may have been a profound one for the Middle East.
Abdullah’s trip was at Kadyrov’s invitation, after a senior aide visited Jordan in 2013. According to Chechnya’s regional government, tens of thousands of Chechens live in Jordan, in itself an important topic for the leader of this relatively small ethnic group. Kadyrov himself traveled to Amman earlier this year to meet the king and possibly reinforce his invitation.