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Cabinet Rejects Jordanian Proposals on Reopening Arab-owned Banks

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The Israel Cabinet rejected today Jordanian proposals for the reopening and reactivation of Jordanian-owned banks in Judea and Samaria, the territories formerly held by Jordan on the west bank of the Jordan River. The Jordanian proposals had been submitted to the Israel Government through the International Monetary Fund and the Israel reply will be transmitted to the Jordanians through the same channels.

It was stressed today that negotiations for the reopening and continued operation of foreign-owned banks such as the British -controlled Barclay’s Bank, were continuing. Israel would like to see these banks functioning as a means of developing the economic life of the occupied areas.

Zeev Sharef, the Minister of Commerce and Industry, who has just returned to Israel from the United States, reported to the meeting that Israeli exporters of foods, textiles, toys, furniture and leather goods to the United States could be expected to do well. He further reported that American investors also showed an interest in Israel’s electronics industry.

Both Mr. Sharef and Minister of Finance Pinhas Sapir, who also recently visited the United States, said they had encountered a warm attitude on the part of American Jews everywhere they visited, which was in marked contrast to their last visit six months ago.

The Finance Minister also reported to the Cabinet on the International Monetary Fund meeting he had attended in Rio de Janeiro.

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