Israel accelerates ‘Jordan Gateway’ project to ‘enhance peace,’ ‘strengthen region’

“The final details regarding this initiative were addressed last week during my visit with King Abdullah II in Amman,” Lapid said.

By World Israel News Staff

The Israeli government on Sunday approved the proposal of Prime Minister Yair Lapid and Regional Cooperation Minister Esawi Frej to accelerate the implementation of the ‘Jordan Gateway‘ project – the joint industrial zone between the State of Israel and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.

The project was first proposed during talks on the 1994 peace agreement.

“Twenty-eight years since the peace agreement with Jordan, we are taking the good neighborly relations between our two countries another step forward. This is a breakthrough that will contribute greatly to developing and strengthening the region.,” Lapid stated.

“The final details regarding this initiative were addressed last week during my visit with King Abdullah II in Amman,” he added.

The two met last Wednesday at the king’s palace in Amman in what was the first public meeting between the Jordanian monarch and an Israeli prime minister in the Jordanian capital in five years. The meeting was “long and warm” and included a lunch with the king and the Israeli delegation, Lapid’s spokesperson said in a press release.

“This is an initiative that will increase employment in both countries, advance our economic and diplomatic relations, and enhance the peace and friendship between our two countries,” Lapid said on Sunday.

“This is a joint industrial zone on the border. It will allow Israeli and Jordanian entrepreneurs and businesspeople to communicate directly. It will produce joint initiatives in trade, technology and local industry.”

Regional Cooperation Minister Issawi Frej said that increasing efforts on the project has been one of his primary missions in the past year.

“This is part of the major progress that we have carried out in strengthening relations with Jordan in the past year,” he said. “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, an additional step further.

“The peace between us is not a peace devoid of economic and civil cooperation that enables the citizens of both countries to enjoy its fruits.”

The approved acceleration of the project includes:

  • Advancing operation of the ‘Jordan Gateway’ Park Terminal for the crossing of pedestrians, which will also serve as a convenient crossing for entrepreneurs interested in the joint initiative and in the industrial zone on the Jordanian side.
  • According to the detailed outline of the decision, subject to budgetary agreements and the approval of the Knesset Economics Committee, the Airports Authority will build and operate the Jordan Gateway Park Terminal.
  • The terminal will have a facility for hosting businesspeople and guests who will arrive from the Jordanian side for business purposes.
  • The immediate construction of an entrance facility and the necessary structures for operating the park will be evaluated while allocating resources for completion.
  • An outline will be formulated on developing the initiative on the Israeli side in the intermediate- and long-term, which will be evaluated following completion of the first stage.

“I welcome every action to improve relations with the Kingdom of Jordan. Jordan is a strategic partner and is of decisive importance for the stability of the entire region. I am committed to doing whatever proves necessary to establish our relations with the Kingdom and assist in advancing the goals it has in common with the State of Israel,”  Transportation and Road Safety Minister Michaeli said.