AUGUST 28-29, 1994

The U.S.-Jordan-Israel Trilateral Economic Committee held its sixth meeting of experts at the Dead Sea Spa Hotel, Jordan, August 28-29, 1994. Trilateral sub-groups met on the Jordan Rift Valley (JRV) Joint Master Plan, tourism, transportation, national parks, customs/interdiction, economics, and agriculture.

With respect to the JRV Joint Master Plan, Israel and Jordan exchanged draft terms of reference. The parties will present revised drafts of the terms of reference for their September 12-13 meeting in Israel. The U.S. will also participate in that meeting. The parties agreed to finalize the joint terms of reference of the JRV Joint Master Plan by the end of September.

The trilateral sub-group on tourism agreed that the Jordanian-Israeli Committee on Tourism will meet on September 12-13 in Israel to discuss marketing. The meeting will also review recommendations for joint activities at the November Convention of the American Society of Travel Agents in Portugal. These recommendations will be co-drafted by Jordanian and Israeli tourism offices in New York. The parties also agreed on arrangements for five ‘Peace Trip’ familiarization visits to Jordan and Israel in January or February, 1995 for the U.S. travel industry, journalists, and other interested groups. In conjunction with trilateral activities on August 29, Israel gave private sector representatives of the Jordanian tourism industry a detailed audio-visual presentation on tourism activities and marketing in Israel. This corresponded to a Jordanian presentation for the Israeli travel industry at the August 9-10 meeting on the Israeli side of the Dead Sea.

The transboundary park sub-group agreed to participate in a September 11-23 study tour of U.S. national parks. The study tour will include Mesa Verde, Glacier-Waterton, and Cuyahoga national parks. The parties will draft an action plan for development of the Dead Sea Lowest Point on Earth Park at the conclusion of the study tour.

The transportation sub-group agreed that Israel and Jordan will provide five experts each to form a project team on a Jordan-Israel-Egypt highway. The team will finalize by August 29 a scope of work for a feasibility study of the road and invite Eygpt to participate. The team will also explore financing options, assign responsibilities for conducting the feasibility study, and establish a time table for the feasibility, design, and construction phases of the road. The parties plan to complete the feasibility study by April 1995. The transportation sub-group also discussed development of other road, railroad, and port facilities.

The customs/interdiction trilateral sub-group discussed facilitation of border crossing, as well as law and security enforcement techniques. The parties agreed that they have a mutual concern on recruitment and training of border officials and law enforcement agents. They will continue collaboration on developing drug interdiction measures and techniques, pursuant to the Washington Declaration of July 25, 1994.

The economic sub-group discussed cooperation on trade, particularly with respect to development of new trade zones. In order to expand on ideas for further discussion, the U.S. agreed to provide information and studies developed on the trade relationship between larger and smaller economies.

Agriculture experts met and discussed potential avenues of cooperation and relevant areas, such as veterinary services, plant protection services, seed production, aquaculture, etc. Further meetings are planned.

Two groups of businesspeople from Israel and Jordan met informally with the presence of U.S. experts. The meeting included the introduction of persons and their activities in business, mainly in industry, export promotion, and shipping.