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March 18, 2013 12:56 pm

Turkish Business Leader to Head Israel-Palestinian Arab Arbitration Center

avatar by Zach Pontz

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Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu. Photo: Wikipedia

The Israeli and Palestinian Arab business communities have picked Rıfat Hisarcıklıoğlu to head the Jerusalem Arbitration Center (JAC), which mediates commercial conflicts between the two sides.

Hisarcıklıoğlu, the chairman of the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB), was selected as a result of a common proposal between both Palestinian Arab and Israeli businesspeople, TOBB told the Hürriyet Daily News in a written statement yesterday.

Israel is the most important trade partner of the Palestinian Authority, 86 percent of whose exports go to Israel. The latter, in turn, is the source of 73 percent of PA imports, according to TOBB data.

“Israel plays a key role in boosting reciprocal trade, normalization of relations, acceleration of a solution process and providing Palestine economic power that is necessary to become a state,” Hisarcıklıoğlu said, according to Hurriyet Daily News.

The Israeli and Palestinian National Committees of International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) founded JAC in 2011. It is meant to enable the resolution of conflicts caused by contracts while avoiding going to court, Hisarcıklıoğlu said in the statement.

“We always keep the chain of peace, trade and wealth on the agenda;” Hisarcıklıoğlu said. “If peace and trade provide wealth, wealth feeds peace and contributes to a lasting peace. Because of this, for boosting trade and removing obstacles against trade, TOBB developed, applied and is applying a series of projects at the national and international level.”

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