image Photo: Yossi Ipregan (GPO)

Israel, Jordan hold trade talks

The two countries’ financial ministers met in the Hashemite Kingdom for the first time in a decade as part of effort “to preserve the policy of warm peace and continue to deepen bilateral ties,” said a statement from Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA).

By Erin Viner

Israeli Economy Minister Orna Barbivai traveled to Amman to meet with Jordanian Minister of Industry, Trade and Supply Yousef Alshamali. Israel’s Ambassador to Jordan Eitan Sorkis and Jordan’s Ambassador to Israel Rassan al-Majali also participated in the meeting.

The two leaders discussed renewal of the trade agreement between their nations, as well as strategies to further strengthen economic ties, mutual recognition of standardization, expansion of tourism and other topics.

The ministers also signed an agreement that will expand future caps on products that the Hashemite Kingdom may export to the Palestinian Authority (PA).

The PA’s import policies in terms of standardization, regulation, and taxation were set in the Protocol on Economic Relations (also referred to as the “Paris Protocol”) between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), signed in 1994 and incorporated into the Oslo II peace accord the following year. Israel’s Ministry of Economy clarified that any changes to lists of items imported from Jordan requires consent from the Palestinians.

The goods and products Jordan is set to deliver to the PA include cement and other construction materials, electronic products, clothing and other items.

“The trade benefits agreed upon today between the Israeli government and Jordan are an important dimension in the strengthening of diplomatic relations between the two countries,” said Israeli Minister Barbivai, adding, “Deepening civilian and economic ties contributes to bilateral relations, national security, and the protection of Israel’s longest and most quiet border.”

The talks and signing of the agreement “highlight the ongoing efforts at enhancing civilian ties between Israel and Jordan, strengthening neighborly relations, and promoting cooperation between the two countries,” underscored Israel’s Foreign Affairs Ministry, going on to say, “Israel hopes that this agreement will lead to the strengthening of the Jordanian economy and contribute to the Kingdom’s continued growth,” while also underscoring “the importance that Israel attaches to the promotion and development of economies in the region, as well as to the encouragement of regional trade.”