New Rail Lines to Link Israel and Neighbor Jordan

Israel and Jordan have agreed in principle to build two new rail lines linking the two countries.

The agreement was reached at talks Sunday in the northeastern Israeli city of Beit She’an, where representatives from both sides discussed efforts to speed up implementation of the economic portions of the Oct. 26 Israeli-Jordanian peace accord.

A spokesman for Israel’s Transportation Ministry said the two rail lines – one running from Haifa to the Jordanian city of Irbid, the other from the Dead Sea to the Red Sea – would be used primarily to transport cargo.

The cost of the two rail lines was estimated at several hundred million dollars.

The talks came after last weeks surprise meeting between Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Jordan’s King Hussein in Amman, where the two leaders decided to accelerate implementation of the peace treaty signed three months ago.

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