Israel approved on Sunday a proposal for a joint industrial zone on the border with Jordan, a project which was first proposed during talks on the 1994 peace agreement, the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs has revealed on its website.
The ministry said that Prime Minister Yair Lapid and Regional Cooperation Minister Esawi Frej approved the acceleration of the implementation of the project known as "Jordan Gateway". The decision to speed up the construction of the industrial zone was taken "to enhance cooperation" with the Hashemite Kingdom.
"Twenty-eight years since the peace agreement with Jordan, we are taking the good neighbourly relations between our two countries another step forward," said Lapid. "This is a breakthrough that will contribute greatly to developing and strengthening the region." He pointed out that the final details of this initiative were addressed last week during his meeting with King Abdullah II in Amman.
"This will increase employment in both countries, advance our economic and diplomatic relations and enhance the peace and friendship between our two countries," added Lapid. "It will also allow Israeli and Jordanian entrepreneurs and businesspeople to communicate directly. It will produce joint initiatives in trade, technology and local industry."
According to Frej, the project results from the "major progress" that Israel has made in strengthening relations with Jordan in the past year. "We started with the agreement to export water in exchange for solar energy and now have this decision which takes the vision of the civil peace, not just between the countries but also between the peoples, another step further."