Following the agreement in the Sharm el-Sheikh Memorandum to resume the activity of the Continuing Committee on displaced persons, a ministerial level meeting was held on February 6, 2000, attended by the foreign ministers of Israel, Egypt and Jordan, and a representative of the Palestinian Authority. The ministers discussed the seven meetings of the technical experts committee held between May 1995 and March 1997.
The ministers decided as follows:
The technical experts committee will convene on February 20 in Tel-Aviv. The committee will continue to meet every two weeks, and will report to the ministerial forum no later than three months time.
The technical committee will have to reach agreement on a number of issues, including an agreed questionnaire to be filled out by those seeking recognition as displaced persons.
Data will continue to be gathered regarding the number of displaced persons.
The parties will present the lists of displaced persons in their possession and a mechanism for their admission will be established.
As agreed by the Ministerial Committee in Cairo on February 6, 2000, the Continuing Technical Committee on Displaced Persons from the West Bank and Gaza Strip in 1967 met in Tel-Aviv on 20-21 February 2000, and discussed the four topics decided upon. Representatives of the four delegations held a separate discussion on the form for admission.
The four delegations agreed to hold the next meetings as follows:
Amman, March 6-7, 2000: The meeting will be devoted mainly to the form for admission, with the intention to reach an agreement.
Ramallah, March 27-28, 2000: The meeting will focus primarily on the mechanism for admission of displaced persons.
Cairo, April 17-18, 2000: The delegations will endeavor to conclude the issues of the form and the mechanism discussed in the meetings held in Amman and Ramallah.
The delegations proceeded also with a thorough exchange of views on the two other topics, namely the issue of lists and data gathering, and shall consider how to further them in above mentioned meetings.
Practical and constructive ideas that will facilitate the admission of displaced persons were raised.
Other matters of common concern, as mentioned in the Camp David Accords, the DOP and the Peace Treaty between Jordan and Israel, will also be considered in the future by the Technical Committee.
The Palestinian delegation raised its concerns regarding the displaced persons who have applied for family reunification, and those already present in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and who have overstayed their visitors' permits.
The four delegations expressed their content regarding the open, frank and friendly atmosphere in which the discussions took place and will continue to seriously discuss all matters raised in the committee.
The establishment of the Continuing Committee first appears in the Camp David Accords (September 17, 1978)
"Representatives of Egypt, Israel, Jordan, and the self-governing authority will constitute a continuing committee to decide by agreement on the modalities of admission of persons displaced from the West Bank and Gaza in 1967, together with necessary measures to prevent disruption and disorder. Other matters of common concern may also be dealt with by this committee."
The Continuing Committee first convened at the ministerial level in Amman in March 1995.
Source: Israeli Foreign Ministry