FM Sharon Meets Under Secy of State Eizenstadt

(Communicated by the Foreign Ministry Spokesman)
4 March 1999

Foreign Minister Ariel Sharon today (Thursday) 4.3.99, met United States Under Secretary of State for Economic, Business and Agricultural Affairs Stuart Eizenstadt to discuss economic issues and ways to promote joint projects between Israel, Jordan, Egypt and the Palestinian Authority. The purchase of Egyptian natural gas by Israel was a key topic of the discussion, and Eizenstadt said that he intends to work to promote the project.

Sharon told his guest that Israel is committed to the stability of the Hashemite Kingdom, which includes promoting economic relations between the two countries to their mutual advantage. Eizenstadt suggested setting time-bound realistic quantitative export goals for both Israel and Jordan, which will act as an a real incentive for both sides to promote their economic relationship. Sharon replied that he welcomes this initiative and emphasized that the solution to increasing the level of trade that he offered to Jordan during his last visit there, is based on establishing a free-trade zone to develop economic opportunities for both Israeli and Jordanian businessmen.

Sharon, who is responsible for managing joint projects with Jordan and the Palestinian Authority said that the implementation of 17 joint projects with Jordan can begin immediately in the fields of transportation, railways, agriculture, tourism and trade.

Eizenstadt promised Sharon that he would work to the promote joint economic issues between Israel, Jordan, Egypt, and the Palestinian Authority that fall under his responsibility and to work to strengthen connections between the business communities of Israel, Jordan and Egypt as well as with other Arab countries. Sharon thanked his guest for his efforts and noted that the United States can rely on Israel’s full cooperation and aid in this field.