FM Shalom presented Wolfensohn with his initiative to further joint economic and commercial projects between peoples.

(Communicated by the Foreign Minister’s Bureau)

Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom met today (Wednesday, 9 November) with Quartet coordinator James Wolfensohn and told him that Israel is committed to continuing its cooperation with him and his team.

Minister Shalom presented Wolfensohn with his initiative to further joint economic and commercial projects between peoples and not only between governments. Initiatives involving cooperation with European countries will be similar to those he is promoting with Arab countries. Shalom also said that he maintains Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas errs with regard to Hamas, which is liable to become strengthened the day after the PA elections.

Wolfensohn said that he joins with Minister Shalom in furthering these projects, adding that timing is a critical component. Agreement on the Rafah crossing and the entry of goods and people into Israel must be reached immediately, he said, adding that this would create a basis for progressing further without taking unnecessary security risks.

Minister Shalom expressed the hope that European involvement in the crossings would be active, and include authority for enforcement.