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Water scarcity in the Middle East brings Israel and Arab neighbors together

Rising food prices, coupled with water scarcity issues, have created a problem across the Middle East region that a group of experts are hoping to fix.

The Atlantic Council’s N-7 Initiative hosted a conference this week in the United Arab Emirates aimed at promoting cooperation between Israel and the Arab world in order to find results that serve a broader community of people.

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The N-7 initiative looks to find solutions food and water security in the MidEast. (Courtesy: N7 Initiative.)

The N-7 initiative looks to find solutions food and water security in the MidEast. (Courtesy: N7 Initiative.) (N7 Initiative)

“Our goal is to produce innovative regional solutions to the shared challenges of climate change, water scarcity, and food insecurity,” Oren Eisner, President of the Jeffrey M. Talpins Foundation, said in a statement.

Event organizers said the government experts, civil society participants and private-sector members have produced actionable items aimed at positively impacting the lives of civilians across the region.

The gathering of representatives from 10 Muslim majority countries, Israel and the United States comes on the heels of the Abraham Accords. This series of normalization agreements among Israel, the UAE and Bahrain has since opened the door for economic and security cooperation.

Amid heightened tension across the Middle East due to incidents between Israelis and Palestinians, as well as developments of Iran’s nuclear program, much of the governmental focus has remained on security stability.

A view of a plantation and the Jerash stream that flows into the King Talal Dam near Jerash. 

A view of a plantation and the Jerash stream that flows into the King Talal Dam near Jerash. 

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“Moments of tension sometimes cause governments to act with caution,” former U.S. Ambassador to Israel Daniel B. Shapiro, Director of the N7 Initiative, explained to Fox News. “What is notable about the N7 Conference is that despite these tensions, participants from Israel and some ten Arab states were not just willing, but eager to come to Abu Dhabi to meet.”

As a result of the conversations in the United Arab Emirates, Shapiro said participants have shown interest in employing Israeli water technology across the Middle East at scale, which that could address food insecurity through collective action.

“Most of all, they want to pool their knowledge and expertise, and apply these solutions together, as N7 regional partners,” Shapiro said. 

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