FM Levy Meets Jordanian FM Khatib

(Communicated by Foreign Ministry Spokesman)
January 17, 2000

Foreign Minister David Levy met today at noon (17/1) with his Jordanian colleague Abdel-Elah M. Khatib. In the meeting, the two ministers discussed the peace process, the progression of the negotiations with the Syrians and with the Palestinians as well as bilateral issues.

With regard to the Syrian track, FM Levy said that ‘the delay does not contribute to progress in the process and hesitation can cause the loss of a golden opportunity’. The Minister stressed the importance of bringing Lebanon into the process and added that Israel is determined to leave southern Lebanon but prefers to do this in the framework of an agreement. Minister Levy declared the commitment of Israel to move forward in the negotiations with the Palestinians and said that the Syrian track does not detract from the Palestinian track. ‘With the Palestinians we are at the point of no return, and despite difficulties we will do all to fulfill our responsibility.’

The two ministers discussed ways to advance economic cooperation between the two countries, and dealt primarily with the issue of water. Referring to the Israeli suggestion to establish a joint regional agency to finance planning and development of water resources, Minister Levy suggested holding a meeting between experts on both sides to evaluate the possibilities of establishing such an agency.

In the course of the meeting, the progress of the Aqaba-Eilat airport and Jordan Gate industrial park project (recently approved by the Ministry of Environment) was discussed.

Minister Levy pointed out the importance of private enterprise in developing projects and suggested holding a meeting of entrepreneurs under the auspices of the Foreign Ministry.