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15 March 2005
Israeli and Palestinian Transport Authorities pledge cooperation
March 15, 2005
ISRAELI AND PALESTINIAN TRANSPORT AUTHORITIES PLEDGE COOPERATION
Memoranda of understanding signed with European Commission Delegation
On March 9, Palestinian Authority Minister of Transport Saad Kharma signed a memorandum of understanding with the European Commission for Israeli-Palestinian cooperation in the field of transport. Yesterday, March 14, Israeli Director General of the Ministry of Transport Ben Zion Salman signed an identical memorandum thereby setting the stage for direct cooperation between the Israeli and Palestinian ministries.
The memorandum calls for the establishment of a Joint Technical Israeli-Palestinian Transport Office (JTO) which would coordinate cooperation on the planning of infrastructure and related issues such as the efficient transport of people and goods.
The Joint Office will be entitled to submit financial requests to the European Union, in the framework of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership, for resources such as technical assistance and feasibility studies for projects of mutual interest. The European Union plans to set aside a budget of up to €2 million in 2005 for this purpose.
The next stage envisaged will be for the parties to prepare and agree on a detailed framework and work programme for the Joint Transport Office. The overall joint framework could be endorsed by both transport ministers at the 1st Euro-Mediterranean Ministerial Meeting on Transport which will take place in December.
The memoranda were signed with Mr. Laurent Muschel, Head of Unit for International Relations at the European Commission’s Directorate General for Energy and Transport (DG TREN). Contacts between the European Commission and the Israeli and Palestinian transport ministries on the establishment of a joint office began at the 5th Euro-Mediterranean Transport Forum held in Brussels on the 21st and 22nd of December 2004.
For more information please contact David Kriss tel: 03-6137799 (ex 206) or 052-5820002
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