Jerusalem, 26 August 1996

MIDDLE EAST REGIONAL BANK REGISTERED WITH UNITED NATIONS

(Communicated by the Foreign Ministry Spokesman)

The United States and Russia, today, Monday, 26.08.96, registered the agreement for establishing the Middle East Regional Development Bank with the United Nations. The Bank is one of three regional institutions whose establishment was decided upon at the economic summit conferences in Casablanca (1994) and Amman (1995). Israel, Egypt, Jordan, and the Palestinians are the regional partners in the bank and will each control 4% of the bank’s equity. The bank’s initial capitalization will be $5 billion, of which $1.25 billion will be paid up capital. The United States will be the largest shareholder with 21% of the shares, followed by Japan with 9%, and Russia with 6%.

The staff responsible for establishing the bank, to be located in Cairo, will begin its work within a few weeks. There is an Israeli representative on the staff.

The Foreign Ministry views the filing of the documents and the beginning of the work of establishing the bank to be important steps in the region’s economic organization. The regional bank will assist in obtaining financial resources which will be used primarily for trans-national regional projects.