Israeli-Jordanian International Airport Planned

Israel and Jordan have agreed on a multi-faceted package of joint projects to begin immediately, including a new international airport.

Hana Levi Julian, | updated: 18:40

The plans were discussed Wednesday at a meeting between Vice Premier Shimon Peres and Jordanian King Abdullah II, who agreed on several ventures, including an international airport in Aqaba, with Israeli and Jordanian terminals, to replace the present facility in Eilat. The airport will serve airlines around the globe that fly to and from Jordan and Israel. Peres and Abdullah agreed at their meeting in Petra that construction on the new airport will begin immediately.

The two leaders also reviewed and agreed on plans for the “Dead Sea - Red Sea” project, in which a 250-kilometer canal will be built to channel water from the Red Sea to replenish the rapidly evaporating waters of the Dead Sea.

The water from this pipeline will also be used to supply joint projects along the Jordan Valley, including parks and holiday resorts to be built by each country on its respective side of the border.

Peres and Abdullah were scheduled to attend a forum for Nobel Prize laureates later in Petra, where Peres is to address participants on the issue of joint development. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is expected to speak at the forum as well.

PA leader Abbas was expected to meet unofficially with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert during the conference, their first since Olmert was elected to office. This follows Abbas's meetings on Sunday with Abdullah II in Jordan and with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak at the Sharm El-Sheikh resort in Sinai.