Palestine, Jordan meet over "economic disengagement" from Israel

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RAMALLAH, July 7 (Xinhua) -- Palestinian Authority Spokesman Ibrahim Melhem said on Sunday that the Palestinian and Jordanian governments had started a two-day meeting in Amman over "economic disengagement" from Israel.

Melhem told the official Palestinian radio station Voice of Palestine that the meeting aims at "implementing gradual disengagement from Israel and enhancing ties with Arab states."

The spokesman said Palestinians are seeking to increase energy imports from Jordan, highlighting the importance of opening up to Arab states in the light of the "financial and economic siege" facing the Palestinian Authority.

According to the Palestinian Ministry of Economy, the commercial exchange between Jordan and Palestine reached 230 million U.S. dollars in 2017.

The joint meeting would cover 22 programs in fields such as economy, trade, investment, education, culture, social development and energy.

In a press statement, Secretary General of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Saeb Erekat said the meeting came in the framework of coordination and cooperation.

The Palestinian National Council, PLO parliament, had decided to sever ties with Israel on every level.

The Palestinian Authority declared boycott of the U.S. government after it recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital in 2017 and moved its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem in May 2018.

The United States has taken several steps against Palestinians, including shutting down the PLO office in Washington and stopping funding for the only UN agency providing support to the Palestinian refugees.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has repeatedly called for an international multilateral mechanism to oversee the peace process. Enditem

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