Israel answers Jordan’s plea for urgent water supplies

Israel answers Jordan’s plea for urgent water supplies
Israel is meant to supply water to Jordan under the the 1994 Wadi Araba Peace Treaty. (Raed Omari)
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Updated 06 July 2021

Israel answers Jordan’s plea for urgent water supplies

Israel answers Jordan’s plea for urgent water supplies
  • Move seen as gesture of goodwill from Israel’s new government
  • Jordan request comes amid warnings of critical water shortage

AMMAN: Israel has approved a Jordanian request to supply additional water to the kingdom in a move described as a goodwill gesture from Israel’s new government.

The move follows a rift in relations between the countries under the premiership of the former long-term leader Benjamin Netanyahu.

According to Israeli media, new Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has given his initial agreement to the sale of 50 million cubic meters of water to resource-poor Jordan, one of the most water-scarce countries in the world.

Netanyahu had delayed approving Jordan’s request for water supplies, the Israeli media has reported, amid tension over Jerusalem, Israeli plans to annex the Jordan Valley and the kingdom’s refusal to allow Netanyahu to overfly its airspace.

The request was submitted through the joint Jordanian-Israeli water committee, established after the 1994 peace deal between the countries, Israeli reports said.

The Jordanian government has not officially commented on the reports, saying there has been no announcement yet from the Israeli government.

However, a Jordanian official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Arab News that by 2022 Israel will be selling Jordan an additional 50 million cubic meters of water to be pumped from the Lake Tiberias (Sea of Galilee) into the kingdom.

The official said the additional water supply is supposed to be a “routine procedure” stipulated in the 1994 Wadi Araba Peace Treaty under which Israel committed to provide Jordan with 55 million cubic meters of water a year.

“But the provision on water allocation has been misused by Netanyahu,” the official added.

“So, yes, this additional water supply will help alleviate much of our water concerns for this year.”

In April, Jordan confirmed it had received an additional quantity of 8 million cubic meters from Israel which, Israeli media said, was spurred by pressure from the administration of US President Joe Biden.

Meanwhile, Jordan’s ministry of water and irrigation has warned of severe drought this summer due to low rainfall through winter. Water storage in Jordan’s 10 major dams is 80 million cubic meters lower than last year, according to official estimates. 

Jordan is the second-largest refugee host per capita worldwide, according to UNHCR, with roughly 750,000 refugees, and is also classified as the second most water-scarce country in the world.


Lebanon Information Minister to resign

Lebanon Information Minister to resign
Updated 4 sec ago

Lebanon Information Minister to resign

Lebanon Information Minister to resign
BEIRUT: Lebanon’s Information Minister George Kordahi said he would resign on Friday to “give Lebanon a chance.”
“I will resign this afternoon,” Kordahi told AFP. “I do not want to cling to this position, if it can be useful, I want to give Lebanon a chance.”
An official at the presidency confirmed to AFP that President Michel Aoun had received a call from Kordahi confirming he would submit his resignation.

France’s Macron meets UAE’s ‘MBZ’ at start of Gulf tour

France’s Macron meets UAE’s ‘MBZ’ at start of Gulf tour
Updated 3 min 27 sec ago

France’s Macron meets UAE’s ‘MBZ’ at start of Gulf tour

France’s Macron meets UAE’s ‘MBZ’ at start of Gulf tour
  • Macron arrived in the early hours of Friday for a brief Gulf tour where he will also visit Qatar

DUBAI: French President Emmanuel Macron met Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed on Friday at the start of a two-day Gulf tour with some lucrative deals set to be signed including several for Rafale fighter jets.
Macron was greeted at the leadership pavilion at Dubai’s Expo site for talks with Sheikh Mohammed, known as “MBZ,” after which they are expected to announce a series of contracts and agreements.
“I don’t want to reveal the Christmas present” before the meeting, UAE presidential adviser Anwar Gargash told journalists in the build-up to the talks in Dubai.
Macron arrived in the early hours of Friday for a brief Gulf tour where he will also visit Qatar, host of next year’s World Cup, before traveling to Saudi Arabia on Saturday.
The UAE, which celebrated its 50th anniversary on Thursday, is expected to order dozens of Rafale jets to replace its Mirage 2000 aircraft acquired in the late 1990s.
The Emirates is the fifth biggest customer for the French defense industry with 4.7 billion euros from 2011-2020, according to a parliamentary report.
Macron is accompanied by a large delegation in Dubai including Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire and Defense Minister Florence Parly.


Saudi Arabia calls on Syria to comply with chemical weapons watchdog

Saudi Arabia calls on Syria to comply with chemical weapons watchdog
Updated 03 December 2021

Saudi Arabia calls on Syria to comply with chemical weapons watchdog

Saudi Arabia calls on Syria to comply with chemical weapons watchdog

LONDON: Saudi Arabia has urged Syrian authorities to cooperate with the chemical weapons watchdog and implement all decisions related to the use of chemical weapons in Syria.

The Kingdom’s position on the matter was reiterated by the Saudi permanent representative to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, Ziyad Al-Attiyah.

He said: “The use of chemical weapons and toxic chemicals as weapons anywhere by any person and under any circumstances is reprehensible and completely contradicts the provisions of the convention and the legal rules and standards of the international community.”

His comments came during the 26th session of the Conference of the States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention on Thursday in The Hague, in the Netherlands.

Al-Attiyah also highlighted the importance his country attached to implementing its obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention, believing in its objectives, and based on its consistent policy to strengthen cooperation to ban weapons of mass destruction and prevent their spread.

He pointed out that Saudi Arabia was keen to help free the Middle East of all WMDs, a move that would increase international peace and security.

Al-Attiyah thanked the organization’s director general, Fernando Arias, for his efforts toward the cause, adding that the Kingdom would be supporting his reappointment for a second term.


Civilians among 10 dead in north Iraq attack blamed on Daesh: officials

Civilians among 10 dead in north Iraq attack blamed on Daesh: officials
Updated 03 December 2021

Civilians among 10 dead in north Iraq attack blamed on Daesh: officials

Civilians among 10 dead in north Iraq attack blamed on Daesh: officials
  • The jihadists attacked the village of Khidir Jija, south of Irbil

IRBIL: At least three civilians and seven Iraqi Kurdish peshmerga fighters have been killed in northern Iraq in an attack blamed on the Daesh jihadist group, the forces said Friday.
The jihadists attacked the village of Khidir Jija, south of Irbil, killing three civilians, a statement said. The peshmerga, Kurdistan’s armed forces, launched an operation in response, and seven fighters died when “an explosive device planted by Daesh elements” blew up.


Iran nuclear talks to break on Friday with formal meeting – officials

Iran nuclear talks to break on Friday with formal meeting – officials
Updated 31 min 58 sec ago

Iran nuclear talks to break on Friday with formal meeting – officials

Iran nuclear talks to break on Friday with formal meeting – officials
  • The US and Iran both sounded pessimistic about the chances of reinstating the deal,

DUBAI/VIENNA: The seventh round of indirect talks between Iran and the United States on reviving the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, which began this week, will end on Friday with a formal meeting of the remaining parties to the deal, European and Iranian officials said.

The meeting of Iran, France, Germany, Britain, Russia and China is in a format known as the Joint Commission which has bookended previous rounds of talks. The Iranian official said the meeting would be held around noon (1100 GMT). The aim is to resume the talks next week, the European diplomat said.

“The Europeans want to return to their capitals for consultations ... We are ready to stay in Vienna for further talks,” an Iranian official close to the talks said.

On the fourth day of indirect US-Iran talks on bringing both nations fully back into the deal, the United States and Iran both sounded pessimistic about the chances of reinstating the deal, which former US President Donald Trump abandoned in 2018.