Startup Meeting for Four-Party Consultative Unit
for the Concept of the "Corridor for Peace and Prosperity"
(Outline and Outcomes)

March 15, 2007

1. Outline of the meeting

(1) Date and Venue

Wednesday, March 14, from 17:40 at Iikura House, MOFA

(2) Participants

(a) Japan

  • Mr. Taro Aso, Minister for Foreign Affairs
  • Dr. Tatsuo Arima, Special Envoy of the Government of Japan
  • Mr. Norihiro Okuda, Director-General, Middle Eastern and African Affairs Bureau, MOFA
  • Mr. Koro Bessho, Director-General, International Cooperation Bureau, MOFA

(b) Israel

  • Mr. Shimon Peres, Vice Premier
  • Mr. Eli Cohen, Ambassador of Israel to Japan
  • Mr. Haim Divon, Deputy Director General for International Cooperation, MFA

(c) Palestine

  • Dr. Saeb Erekat, Head of the Negotiations Affairs Department, PLO
  • Mr. Waleed Siam, Representative, Permanent General Mission of Palestine in Japan
  • Dr. Shaddad Al-Ateeli, Policy Advisor, Negotiations Support Unit, PLO

(d) Jordan

  • Mr. Farouk Kasraoui, Special Advisor of H.M. King Abdullah II
  • Mr. Samir Naouri, Ambassador of Jordan to Japan
  • Dr. Jafar Hassan, Director of the International Policy Department, Office of H.M. Abdullah II

(3) Backgrounds

On the occasion of then-Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's visit to the Middle East in July 2006, Japan proposed the concept of the "Corridor for Peace and Prosperity" which aims at contributing to creating a viable Palestinian Economy in the future by promoting the economic development in the Jordan Valley with a focus on the agro-industry sector, to be achieved through regional cooperation. It was agreed by the leaders of Israel, the Palestinian Authority and Jordan. In order to materialize this concept, Japan hosted the ministerial-level startup meeting for the four-party consultative unit.

In line with this concept, the Government of Japan dispatched a research team from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to the Jordan Valley in November 2006 with the aim of formulating projects to support the local agro-industry sector.

2. Outcomes of the meeting

(1) At the meeting, the Four-Party agreed on the following (announced at a reception held after the meeting by Foreign Minister Mr. Aso):

  • (a) We will maintain high political interest in promoting this initiative.
  • (b) We will focus our attention on supporting the activities of the feasibility study mission starting the end of March for agro-industrial park development in Jordan River Rift Valley, in particular, on selecting venue to build an agro-industrial park.
  • (c) We will regularly convene four-party meetings at technical-level within the region, and the first meeting will be held around June this year.

(2) The representatives of the Israeli, the Palestinian, and the Jordanian sides expressed appreciation for Japan's initiative on this concept and its assistance to the Palestinians, and they also expressed their expectation for early implementation of the concept and for Japan�fs greater role in the Middle East Peace Process.

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