Jerusalem, 28 February 1999

Summary of PM Netanyahu’s Meetings in Jordan

(Communicated by Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Ariel Sharon met today (Sunday), 28.2.99, with King Abdullah and Jordanian Prime Minister Fayez Tarawneh.

The meeting, which took place at the king’s palace in Amman, began with a private meeting between PM Netanyahu and King Abdullah, during which the King emphasized Jordan’s complete commitment to peace with Israel; peace accompanied by deep friendship. The two leaders agreed to maintain direct contact with each other.

PM Netanyahu appointed FM Sharon to coordinate all bilateral issues which the government is discussing with Jordanian PM Tarawneh, including promoting trade and economic relations between the two countries.

PM Netanyahu said that Israel is willing, in principle, to assist and ease the transfer of goods from Jordan to the Palestinian Authority. Likewise, at Jordan’s request, the prime minister said he would examine the possibility of releasing a number of Palestinian prisoners held by Israel who do not have blood on their hands.

The expanded meeting focused on the peace process with the Palestinians. PM Netanyahu said that, from his standpoint, there is no problem moving forward with the implementation of the Wye agreement. "The ones holding up the process are the Palestinians, who are perhaps waiting for the results of elections in Israel. I ask you to pass this message on to the Palestinians: We want to advance in the process."

During the meeting, discussion also touched on completing the Aqaba-Eilat project, the handling of which was raised to the ministerial level (FM Sharon and Jordanian PM Tarawneh), as well as developing the Gulf of Aqaba/Eilat to promote tourism in the region.