Ministers Discuss Jericho Industrial Area

JERICHO, July 25, 2013 (WAFA) – The Four Party Consultative Unit for the initiative of the Corridor for Peace and Prosperity held its fourth ministerial meeting in Jericho Thursday to discuss the establishment of the Jericho agro-industrial zone.

Attending the meeting was Japan’s Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, Palestinian Minister of Planning Muhammad Abu Ramadan, Jordan’s Minister of Interior and Municipal Affairs Hussein Majali and Israeli Minister of Regional Cooperation Silvan Shalom.

Kishida said the project is going to enhance peace efforts in the region, expressing hope that it will help develop the Palestinian economy to make it viable and strong.

He said the project “aims at creating a prosperous region through regional cooperation in the Jordan Valley” and “will bring about tangible improvement” to lives of the Palestinian people.

Funded by the Japanese government, the Jericho Agricultural Industrial Park (JAIP) is a flagship project that opens the way for further investments from other countries.

Abu Ramadan thanked Japan for its support of this project, which he said was “a totally Palestinian project.”

He said that while economic development is important, it cannot be separated from the political context.

Shalom announced at the meeting several easing on Israeli military restrictions including opening Allenby crossing with Jordan until midnight and extending the hours of operation for the Tarqoumia crossing south of Hebron with Israel.

“We’ll do everything we can to help the industrial zone,” said Shalom, adding that “economic development will not be a substitute to the political track,” which he said “both should go together.”

Shalom said he hopes negotiations between the Palestinians and Israel will resume next week in Washington. He said he believes it may start Tuesday.

source : WAFA NEWS