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New agreements signal improved Jordan-Palestine relations

Jordanian Prime Minister Hani Mulki. (AFP file photo)
AMMAN: Jordanian-Palestinian relations witnessed a marked improvement Wednesday with the signing of five agreements.
The deals were signed during a meeting headed by Jordanian Prime Minister Hani Mulki and his Palestinian counterpart Rami Hamdallah, which included ministers and businesspeople from both sides.
Jordanian government spokesman Mohammed Momani told Arab News that the deals cover the energy, education, health, infrastructure, housing, tenders and social development sectors.
Mulki expressed hope for increased trade between the two sides, which stood at $176 million in 2016 and $90 million in the first half of 2017, Jordan’s Petra news agency reported.
Palestinian news agency WAFA quoted Hamdallah as saying: “Under these circumstances — a military occupation and a 70 percent drop in foreign assistance — the Palestinian government has been working on maximizing the benefits of local resources, and rationalizing expenditure and the use of available resources.”
Former Jordanian MP Hamadeh Farneh told Arab News that the meeting “is a sign of improving relations between both sides.”
Attendees stressed the need to complete joint projects. Jordan’s Industry, Trade and Supply Minister Yarub Qudah said the two sides exhibited a high degree of “determination” to take cooperation to a new level, Petra reported.
Palestinian Economy Minister Abeer Oudah said both sides agreed to do more to encourage the private sector to increase its investments, with Palestinians expressing interest in benefiting from Jordan’s experience in industrial estates.
Petra reported that deals were reached to establish a joint company to organize the transport of Palestinian Hajj and Umrah pilgrims, and a joint company to market agricultural produce.
Maha Sayegh, economic attache at the Palestinian Embassy in Amman, told Arab News: “We were able to cancel or simplify most of the obstacles that existed in terms of economic trade between Palestine and Jordan.”

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