Turkey, Israel, Palestinians sign deal on building joint industrial zone in West Bank
www.chinaview.cn 2007-11-13 21:30:04   Print

    ANKARA, Nov. 13 (Xinhua) -- Turkish, Israeli and Palestinian Presidents Abdullah Gul, Shimon Peres and Mahmoud Abbas signed here on Tuesday an agreement on building a joint industrial zone in the West Bank, the semi-official Anatolia news agency reported.

    The agreement was signed in a tripartite meeting at the Cankaya Presidential Palace within the scope of the Ankara Forum which kicked off early in the day.


Israeli President Shimon Peres (L), Turkey's President Abdullah Gul (C) and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas pose after a meeting at the Presidential Palace in Ankara Nov. 13, 2007. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)

Israeli President Shimon Peres (L), Turkey's President Abdullah Gul (C) and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas pose after a meeting at the Presidential Palace in Ankara Nov. 13, 2007. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)
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    Under the agreement, a joint industrial zone will be established in the West Bank, to house more than 200 factories and provide working opportunities for Palestinians.

    Implementation of Turkey's "Organized Industrial Zone" model in the countries of the Middle East was expected to contribute remarkably to the development of private sector in these countries, Anatolia said.

    It will also help create employment opportunities for the Palestinians, attract investments to the region and develop the region's economy in the medium and long-term, the report added.

    The three-way meeting came weeks before Israeli and Palestinians are set to sit down at a U.S.-sponsored peace conference in Annapolis, Maryland later this month.

    Gul said the concrete step taken to establish industrial zones in the Palestinian territories would encourage compromise on political issues.

    "The concrete step taken today shows the political will of the presidents of Israel and Palestine prior to the Annapolis meeting in the United States," he said.

    Peres, for his part, attached great importance to the agreement which he considered as a win-win agreement, saying that "the project will yield important results for the region and contribute to peace process."

    Meanwhile, Abbas qualified the Ankara Forum a "significant opportunity" for establishing peace in the region, adding that peace, security and stability in the Middle East could be reached if the Palestinians and Israelis ensured peace.

    The Ankara Forum was initiated by Turkey in 2005 as a confidence building mechanism between Palestine and Israel.

    Within the framework of the "industry for peace" approach, a project aiming to revive the Erez Industrial Zone was brought up during the Ankara Forum activities held in April 2005.

Editor: Bi Mingxin
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