Israeli and Palestinian Transport Ministers signed Agreement on Joint Transport Office
IP/05/1172 – Brussels, 21 September 2005
The signing of the agreement by Israeli transport minister Meir Sheetrit and Palestinian transport minister Saed el Din Kharma is the culmination of a process that began at the 5th Euro-Mediterranean Transport Forum held in Brussels on the 21st and 22nd of December 2004 where Israeli and Palestinian representatives expressed an interest in the establishment of a Joint Office for Transport infrastructures. Since that time the two sides, accompanied by European Commission officials, have met several times to discuss the relevant issues.
Reacting to today’s signature, Commissioner for External Relations Benita Ferrero-Waldner said:
“I warmly welcome today’s establishment of a Joint Transport Office and congratulate the two ministers for taking this positive step. Regional cooperation in the transport field is part of the Action Plans agreed with both Israel and the Palestinian Authority under the European Neighbourhood Policy. The Joint Transport Office will join a similar initiative that has already been developed in the energy domain. I would like to wish both sides every success in this new joint venture.”
The Vice-President of the European Commission in charge of Transport Jacques Barrot also added:
“I consider this initiative very important. It will identify and promote key infrastructure projects within and between the Parties, thereby facilitating the transport of people and goods in the region. I am convinced that this type of technical cooperation can contribute very positively to the Peace Process.”
The specific activities of the Joint Transport Office as agreed by the parties will be :