Israel, Japan, Jordan and the PA opening path to peace
The development and construction of the industrial zone is a result of the Israeli-Jordanian-Palestinian initiative in what has been defined as the ‘Corridor for Peace and Regional Growth.’
Japanese State Minister for Foreign Affairs Kentaro Sonoura, on Wednesday, 7 September 2016, at the Oasis Hotel in Jericho, is due to chair a meeting of Israeli, Japanese, Jordanian and Palestinian Authority (PA) representatives on expanding the Jericho industrial zone, which is being built with financing from the Japanese government, and paving a new road in the Jordan Valley – parallel to Road #90 – to facilitate the rapid and efficient transport of goods between the industrial zone and the Allenby Crossing to Jordan.
The four-way meeting is being held in continuation of Deputy Regional Cooperation Minister Ayoub Kara's recent meeting with the Japanese Foreign Ministry Deputy Director General for Middle East Affairs at which the continued development of the industrial zone and the Deputy Minister's recent tour of the zone – accompanied by Japanese Ambassador to Israel Koji Tomita as well as Jericho Gov ernor Majed al-Fityani and representatives of the JAIP, PA and Coordinator of Activities in the Territories – was discussed. Plans for developing the existing industrial zone and paving the new designated access road were also discussed as were Deputy Minister Kara's proposals on solutions to the security and infrastructure delays that have stymied the work.
The development and construction of the industrial zone is the product of work done in recent years led by the Regional Cooperation Ministry with the assistance of the Japanese government, which has expressed great interest in the Israeli-Jordanian-Palestinian initiative in what has been defined as the "Corridor for Peace and Regional Growth." The expedited work by Deputy Minister Kara and the Regional Cooperation Ministry staff with the various sides led to the progress that was achieved in the past month which, in turn , has made possible this week's four-way meeting. The meeting is due to be the last before the start of work on the new road.
Last week, during his participation in "Global Water Week" events in Sweden, Deputy Minister Kara updated Arab state, European and US representatives on progress in building the Jericho industrial zone; the representatives applauded the measure. The Regional Cooperation Ministry will – on behalf of the Government of Israel – continue to lead the work – with Japan, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority – on expanding the industrial zone and paving the new road as part of an industrial and free trade center.
Deputy Regional Cooperation Minister Ayoub Kara: "I am pleased by the significant progress in the project which is due to assist in strengthening commercial links between, and the economies of, countries in the region, especially Jordan and Israel itself. Cooperation for the welfare of residents of the region is a significant tool in defeating religious extremism and advancing peace processes between us and our neighbors. The designated industrial zone will serve as an important catalyst in boosting regional trade which will lead to greater stability and continued economic growth."
Photo Deputy Minister of Regional Cooperation Ayoob Kara. Image courtesy Knesset channel webcast