Jerusalem, 7 February 1999

Cabinet Communique

(Communicated by the Cabinet Secretariat)

At the weekly Cabinet meeting today (Sunday), 7.2.99:

1. At the start of the meeting, the Prime Minister addressed recent developments in Jordan, adding that Israel remains in continuous contact with the Jordanian government.

The Prime Minister said that, in Israel’s assessment, Crown Prince Abdullah will be able to maintain stability in Jordan during the transfer of power to his authority. The Prime Minister also said that, in the view of Israel, Crown Prince Abdullah will continue the policies of King Hussein as also indicated by explicit statements made by the Crown Prince to the Prime Minister.

The Prime Minister has instructed Government ministries to facilitate commerce with Jordan, as well as develop the full array of economic relations between Israel and Jordan.

2. The Prime Minister also addressed the issue of the state budget, approved by the Knesset over the weekend.

The Prime Minister said that the budget discussions were conducted responsibly and seriously, adding that it will now be possible to advance the sale of public housing while directing resources to the assistance of the underprivileged. The Prime Minister said that the Government program enables the sale of public housing in an optimal and rapid fashion.

3. The Cabinet approved the pension fund proposal, and the transition from a budget-based pension system to a cumulative pension system.

4. The Prime Minister thanked Yossi Kucik, the Finance Ministry official in charge of wages who announced his resignation last week, for his service and his contribution.

5. The Cabinet ratified mutual customs assistance agreements with the Republic of Uzbekistan and the Republic of Georgia.

6. The Cabinet approved the Justice Minister’s proposal regarding the conduct of regular discussions with Government ministries, within the framework of the Ministerial Committee on State Audit Affairs, to deal with the 49th Report of the State Comptroller.

The Justice Minister’s proposal addressed, inter alia, the procedures to govern these inter-ministerial discussions.