U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Israeli Treasury Director-General Doron Cohen signed an agreement in Washington on Wednesday, October 24 that will extend U.S. loan guarantees to Israel to 2016, The Jerusalem Post reported. The agreement, signed on the sidelines of the U.S.-Israel Joint Economic Development Group (JEDG) forum, gives Israel four more years to use $3.8 billion in guarantees left over from the $9 billion in guarantees granted in 2003. The guarantees are conditional on Israel meeting deficit and expenditure targets and making economic reforms. Even if Israel does not take advantage of the loan guarantees, having American backing helps it obtain favorable rates on borrowing abroad. Israeli Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz said in a press statement that the agreement is “important evidence” of the special economic relationship between the United States and Israel.