Israel, Jordan strike a major water deal

WION Web Team
New Delhi Published: Jul 08, 2021, 09:54 PM(IST)

Israel's opposition leader Yair Lapid Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

Jordan is one of the world's most water-deficient countries

Israel and Jordan struck a deal on Thursday according to which the Jewish state will sell an unprecedented amount of water to Jordan. This will also significantly boost Jordanian exports to Palestinians in West Bank.

Water resource cooperation has been a core issue between Israel and Jordan since a 1994 peace deal, but relations between the neighbours have frayed in recent years.

The meeting between the two countries was held just inside the Jordanian border. Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid and his Jordanian counterpart approved Israel's sale of  50 million cubic metres of water to its neighbour. 

Statements from both governments confirmed the sale, and said the final details of the transaction would be concluded in the coming days.

Lapid described Jordan as an "important partner" for Israel, and said he was committed to strengthening ties.

Gidon Bromberg, Israeli Director for EcoPeace Middle East -- a leading organisation on regional water cooperation which operates in Israel, the West Bank and Jordan -- described the water sale as "the largest quantity ever sold between the two countries."

It "is a true 'water shed' event," he said.

"It represents an understanding of mutual interests and how countries in the region need to cooperate, if we are to survive the tremendous challenges to water and national security that the climate crisis presents."

Jordan is one of the world's most water-deficient countries and experts say the country, home to 10 million people, has been grappling with one of its most severe droughts in its history.

Israel, which also faces water pressures, is a world leader in desalination.

(With inputs from agencies)

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