Israeli President Shimon Peres and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas met in Ankara in order to conduct peace talks. The government of Turkey is creating an industrial zone in Jerusalem as part of an initiative termed the Ankara Forum which brings together Israel and Palestinian businessmen in order to explore possible business ventures. It is expected the industrial zone will provide up to 8,000 jobs for Palestinians. During his visit, President Peres received an honorary doctorate from Bilkit University and he will be the first Israeli president to address a parliament which governs a Muslim nation.
Perhaps, this is not the most important event in Israel-Palestinian relations, but it offers possibilities that must be explored. The combination of Israel and Palestinian brain power is a vital first step in developing relations which can use economic power as a means of forging friendly relations. The concept of providing jobs for Palestinians is vital for peace in the region.