Jerusalem, 27 July 1999

Industry Min. Cohen Meets PA Industry Min. Al-Karnaz in Ramallah

(Communicated by Industry and Trade Ministry Spokesman)

Minister of Industry and Trade Ran Cohen today (Tuesday) 27.7.99, met with his Palestinian Authority counterpart, Dr. Said Al-Karnaz in Ramallah to discuss a series of bilateral issues. Minister Cohen is the first Minister of Industry and Trade to meet his Palestinian counterpart in the PA area.

It was agreed to establish a joint team at the ministerial director-general level to jointly attend an American-sponsored conference this summer which will attempt to persuade foreign investors to invest in the Karni industrial park. The two ministers also agreed to hold regular unofficial meetings to improve bilateral economic cooperation, which had been frozen for several years.

The establishment of other joint industrial parks, in particular at Muqabala in Jenin and in Rafiah, was also discussed.

Minister Cohen said, "We came to make deals. We will open an Israeli industrial channel alongside the diplomatic channel which Prime Minister Ehud Barak maintains with Chairman Arafat."