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2nd Forum on Economic Co-operation - A Jordanian-Israeli Joint Initiative 27th June to 1st July 2004

The "Forum on Economic Co-operation - A Jordanian-Israeli Joint Initiative", taking place between 27th June and 1st July in Wittenberg, was convened for a second time.

The conference is a cooperative project of the Peres Center for Peace, founded by Nobel Prize-winning Simon Peres, the Jordan-based Amman Center for Peace and Development and the DaimlerChrysler Group. Prominent representatives from the Jordanian and Israeli worlds of business met at the Wittenberg Center for Global Ethics to consolidate mutual economic cooperation eventually drafting a declaration. The document requests the governments in both countries to strengthen cooperative ties. One of the major results generated through the conference is a package of measures for consolidating economic cooperation between the two states.

Trade and direct investments are essential pillars for political stability. After four days of intense discussions, the participants agreed that both their governments ought to prioritize the economic ties between their countries in order to create a solid base for peace. Informed by the motto "From Trade to Peace", the Forum carried on with a promising process that aims at peaceful political integration and cooperation in the Middle East.

Last year already saw the signing of the "Wittenberg Declaration for Cooperation and Peace in the Middle East" which meant a further step towards strengthening dialogue between both countries. It stressed the constructive role business plays in deescalating the conflict in the Middle East. This year's Forum presented the progress made so far while reflecting on current difficulties in a discussion marked by trust and respect. Talks focussed on problems linked to the border in the Jordan Valley. Participants settled on an 18-point package of measures which promotes export and mutual trust. The heads of the delegations Smadar Shapira of the Peres Center for Peace and General (ret.) Mansour Abu-Rashid, president of the Amman Center, as well as the DaimlerChrysler Group committed themselves to continuing the dialogue in Jordan and Israel. The participants thanked Professor Ingo Pies, Scientific Director of the Wittenberg Center, and his team for acting as mediator and motor in this process.