Israel’s Deputy Minister for Regional Cooperation this week travelled to the Jordanian side of the Dead Sea alongside other Israeli delegates, to attend a conference on regional water security and sustainable development.
Deputy Minister Ayoob Kara told the conference that thanks to Jordanian assistance, Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) have drawn up a water sharing agreement, but the PA is delaying its signing and implementation. Kara also emphasised the ongoing cooperation and common interests between Israel and Jordan and said that he is working towards the opening of a new border crossing between the two countries south of the Dead Sea.
The conference was hosted by Jordanian Water and Irrigation Minister Dr Hazem El Nasser and the Israeli delegation included Knesset Member Nava Boker, mayors and regional council chairs and Water Authority representatives.
On Tuesday, Kara presided over the opening of the Dead Sea Research Institute, in which Israeli, Jordanian and Palestinian scientists will work together to study the Dead Sea in order to find ways to rehabilitate it and the surrounding area. The institute is located at Israel’s Masada National Park and will host studies on climate, environmental health, community management and regional-international cooperation.
Kara said that the institute “serves as a symbol of the deep desire of the Israeli people for cooperation with our neighbours in joint research, progress and development in order to improve life in general and our common life in particular”.
Last year, Israel and Jordan signed a water-sharing agreement designed to help meet both countries’ water needs and replenish the Dead Sea. Known as the Two Seas Canal, it will carry 100m cubic meters of water each year from the Red Sea to the Dead Sea and will also make provision for the PA to purchase 20m cubic metres of water from Israel.