Israeli and Jordanian ministers met in Jordan on Wednesday to discuss deepening bilateral economic ties, the Israeli foreign ministry said in a statement.
In the rare meeting, Israel’s Economy Minister Orna Barbivai and Jordan’s Minister of Industry and Trade Yousef Al Shamali agreed to “strengthen economic ties between the two countries,” said the statement.
The ministers discussed a possible update to their bilateral trade agreement and expanding cross-border tourism.
They signed a deal to expand the exports from Jordan to the Israeli-occupied West Bank, under which Jordan could send exports of cement and construction products, rugs, garments, electronics, and other goods to the Palestinian Authority.
“Israel hopes that the deal will strengthen the Jordanian economy and contribute to the continued growth of the kingdom. In addition, the agreement emphasizes the importance that Israel attributes to the promotion and development of the economies in the region and to the encouragement of regional trade,” the Israeli ministry said.
Barbivai said Israel wishes to strengthen its ties with Jordan. “The trade benefits agreed today are an important step in strengthening diplomatic relations between the two countries,” she said in the statement.
It was the first time over the past 10 years that senior Israeli and Jordanian officials met to talk about trade cooperation, the ministry added.
Jordan, which shares a border with Israel, established diplomatic ties with Israel in 1994.