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5th Forum on Economic Co-operation: Water Technologies Co-operation 15th to 19th July 2007

The forum showed that the matter of water technologies co-operation is a pressing issue in the region

While the river Jordan transported a total of 3 billion cubic meters of fresh water annually to the Death Sea 20 years ago this amount has dropped by 90 percent to 300 million cubic meters today. The decrease is caused by rising water consumption in the bordering countries. Consequently, drinking water has become scarce. This is why efficient solutions for the use and treatment of water are necessary. Visitors from Israel and Jordan toured the Environmental Center for Research Leipzig-Halle to gain new insights into sustainable water management. In addition they were briefed by the consulting company Isucon which has been involved in German-Israel business transactions for several years. Being coordinated by the Wittenberg Center, the participants formed different work groups in order to discuss options of cooperation. As a result, the delegations from Jordan and Israel settled on trans-border cooperation and projects. In their final declaration, they agreed on establishing a task force for the management of water resources in addition to cooperative research projects. These projects are intended to be continued and realized in the countries themselves.

General (ret.) Mansour Abu Rashid, president of the Amman Center for Peace and Development in Jordan, and Oren Blonder of the Israeli Peres Center for Peace expressed their contentment with respect to the talks. They thanked the Daimler Group and the Wittenberg Center for taking this unusual initiative and stressed the importance of enterprises and NGOs for the transformational processes in the Middle East. "Privatization is essential to the Peace Process as it accompanies and pushes political efforts ", one participant said. Ambitious businesses enjoy the trust of Israelis and Jordanians since they do not act on grounds of political interests. Taking this as a backdrop, the significance of Wittenberg as a neutral meeting point for negotiations was highlighted by Professor Josef Schleicher of the Daimler Group and his colleague Godel Rosenberg of Daimler Israel.

Declaration for the 3rd Joint Economic Forum (PDF)