Dubai played host to Israel and Jordan who signed a water-for-solar-energy deal on Monday.
The United Arab Emirates Minister of Climate Change and Environment Mariam bint Mohammed Saeed Hareb Almeiri hosted Israel’s Minister of Energy and Water Resources Karine Elharrar and Jordanian Minister of Water and Irrigation Mohammed Al-Najjar who signed the massive agreement at the Dubai Expo.
Jordan will export to Israel 600 megawatts of “green” electricity from a solar farm which will be built by a UAE company while Israel will export up to 200 million cubic meters of desalinated water to Jordan.
This is the largest deal between Israel and the Hashemite Kingdom cooperation in 27 years of normalized relations and is a byproduct of the Abraham Accords.
U.S. climate envoy John Kerry was present.
“The Middle East is on the frontline of the climate crisis,” Kerry said in his own statement. “Only by working together can countries in the region rise to the scale of the challenge.”
Elharrar said the agreement had several boons.
“The benefit of this agreement is not only in the form of green electricity or desalinated water, but also the strengthening of relations with the neighbor that has the longest border with Israel,” she said in a statement.
In a region where water is scarce but sun comes in abundance, the deal harnesses a primary natural resource of the Middle East. Jordan and Israel are both arid, but Israel – which is bordered on the West by the Mediterranean Sea – has developed desalination plants that provide about 80% of the country’s drinkable water. Jordan is largely landlocked.
While former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu forged ties with the Gulf states and was a signatory on the historic Abraham Accords, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, who took over in June, has shifted foreign policy focus to repair the Jewish state’s relations with Jordan.
The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.