Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon on Wednesday met with his Palestinian Authority counterpart Shukri Bishara and PA Civil Affairs Minister Hussein al-Sheikh for regular talks on ongoing economic cooperation between Israel and the Palestinians.
Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories Brig. Gen (res.) Kamil Abu Rukun also attended the Israeli-Palestinian meeting which was hosted at the Finance Ministry in Jerusalem.
The talks, which have been held regularly in recent years, focused on civil and economic matter, according to a statement on behalf of Kahlon.
The meetings cover such issues as Palestinian banks and taxation. Participants do not discuss political issues and the meetings are held despite the diplomatic stagnation between Israel and the Palestinians.
The parties met as a US-led economic workshop was taking place in Manama, Bahrain — without either the Israelis or Palestinians — to discuss monetary aspects of Washington’s peace plan, the main political and territorial parts of which have yet to been unveiled.
Kahlon had been expected to attend the economic workshop but after a discussion between American and Bahraini officials, the organizers reportedly concluded that Israeli political leaders should not be invited, in part because Israel is currently led by an interim caretaker government ahead of the September 17 elections.
The Palestinians firmly rejected the conference, with PA President Mahmoud Abbas saying the Ramallah-based Palestinian leadership will neither attend nor accept its results.