Thursday, July 13, 2017

Special Envoy Greenblatt: 'Water agreement - harbinger of things to come'

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/232419

A press conference just concluded on the U.S. - mediated agreement reached by the PA and Israeli Water Authorities on the regional Red Sea-Dead Sea Conveyance project.

Agreements between Israel and the Palestinians regarding the project will allow the flow of tens of millions of cubic meters of water to the PA and Gaza before the project is established.

The agreements were mediated by US special envoy to the Middle East, Jason Greenblatt, who convened a press conference with Minister of Regional Cooperation Tzahi Hanegbi and the head of the Palestinian Water Authority, Mazen Ghuneim, about the agreements.

Speaking at the press conference, Greenblatt said, "As we all know, water is a precious commodity in the Middle East. The US welcomes the agreement reached between the PA and the government of Israel which will allow for the sale of 33 million cubic meters of water from Israel to the PA."

"In addition, we hope that this deal will contribute to the healing of the Dead Sea, and that it will help not only Palestinians and Israelis, but Jordanians, as well.

"President Trump has made it clear that working towards achieving a lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians is a top priority for him. This agreement is an example of the parties working together to make a mutually beneficial deal.

"In fact, this is the second important deal reached between Israelis and Palestinians this week, the first being the agreement to energize the Jenin electrical substation which was signed on Monday. That agreement came about with the strong support of the Trump administration and other international partners and provides another example of cooperation between Israelis and Palestinians that will lead to economic improvements in the lives of Palestinians who have now, in the span of one week, benefited from agreements that provide key improvements in the areas of water and electricity.

I am proud of the role that the US and its international partners have played in reaching this deal, and I hope that it is a harbinger of things to come."

Minister Hanegbi said that the agreement gave a "reason to smile."


"After years of stalemate and thanks to the passionate mediation of Jason Greenblatt and thanks to the pragmatic and professional approach of both delegations [...] we have reached an important agreement. The agreement allows us to launch the [water canal] project which is crucial for Israel, Jordan, and the PA."

"All of us in the this room proved that water can serve as a means of reconciliation, for prosperity, for cooperation, rather than be a cause for tension and dispute."

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