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Cablegate: Jordanian Views On Japan's "Corridor of Peace And

VZCZCXYZ0008
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHAM #1150 0721445
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 131445Z MAR 07
FM AMEMBASSY AMMAN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7635
INFO RUEHTV/AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV 0477
RUEHDM/AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS 3531
RUEHRH/AMEMBASSY RIYADH 1752
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 0237
RUEHJM/AMCONSUL JERUSALEM 4358

UNCLAS AMMAN 001150

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON EAID EAGR ELTN PREL KPAL IS JO JP
SUBJECT: JORDANIAN VIEWS ON JAPAN'S "CORRIDOR OF PEACE AND
PROSPERITY" IN PALESTINIAN TERRITORY

REFS A) TOKYO 1005 B) TOKYO 6576

1. (SBU) SUMMARY: Jordan has been discussing a number of Jordan
Valley projects with the Israelis over the past several years.
Several would be contingent upon financial support from Japan. All
are likely to be discussed in the four-party talks between Japan,
Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian Territory being held in Tokyo
March 14. The proposals include constructing a bridge, creating
rail links between Israel and Jordan, and implementing a
comprehensive plan to develop the Palestinian side of the Jordan
Valley through constructing industrial facilities and promoting
agricultural industries. END SUMMARY.

2. (SBU) In Israeli press reports, Vice Premier Shimon Peres refers
to the Japanese initiative as the "Peace Valley" plan, but Japanese
press reports use the name "Corridor for Peace and Prosperity."
Four party talks between Japan, Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian
Authority are being held in Tokyo March 14. According to press
reports, projects under consideration will include the Red Sea-Dead
Sea water conveyance, tourism projects, a joint Israeli-Jordanian
airport at Aqaba, eventual integration of industrial complexes and
goods distribution centers in the Jordan Valley, and promoting
agricultural industries in the Jordan Valley targeting Gulf markets.


3. (SBU) Amr Al-Hadidi, the Secretary General of Jordan's Ministry
of Transportation, told ECOUNS March 13 that there have been
discussions with the Israelis over the past two years on building a
new bridge between Israel and Jordan. The bridge would be in the
southern Jordan Valley near the Allenby Bridge, also known as the
King Hussein crossing. Both parties hope Japan could help fund
construction of the bridge but the Japanese government has so far
made no commitments.

4. (SBU) In addition, the Jordanian government is completing a
railway master plan which should be completed by April. As part of
this plan, a feasibility study is being carried out looking at
establishing rail links with Syria, Saudi Arabia, and Israel.
Al-Hadidi has met with Israel's Secretary General for Transportation
to discuss the proposal. However, Al-Hadidi said the Jordanians
were exploring the Israeli rail link option quietly because of
concern that the Syrians and Saudis "might be hesitant" if they
learn of the planned rail links to Israel. Al-Hadidi added that the
plan would be based on standard gauge track, not the narrow gauge
track currently existing in Jordan (from the famous Hejaz Railway).


5. (SBU) According the Jordan office of the Japan International
Cooperation Agency (JICA), the JICA offices in Tel Aviv and the West
Bank have been directly involved in developing the plan. However,
he did assert that the Tokyo talks would review the proposed
comprehensive plan for the Palestinian side of the Jordan Valley.
JICA would be involved in financing projects under the plan if the
four parties reach agreement in the talks.

HALE

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