JERUSALEM (May. 11)
Jordan and Israel have agreed to resolve a bitter dispute over water allocation.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Jordan’s King Hussein worked out a solution last week during a meeting in the Jordanian port city of Aqaba.
Jordan’s information minister, Samir Mutawae, said that under the arrangement, Israel would help to bring an extra 1.7 billion cubic feet of water a year into Jordan.
The water would be provided in two stages — the first half to be provided immediately, and the second half after three years.
He said the second stage would take effect only after storage facilities were completed.
Technical experts from both sides are to work jointly on projects to increase the kingdom’s storage capacity.
The 1994 Israeli-Jordanian peace treaty called for the Jewish state to provide the Hashemite Kingdom with more than 5 billion cubic feet annually through a desalination project and a dam project.
Financing of the two projects must still be finalized.
Earlier last week water talks involving Jordanian officials and Israeli Infrastructure Minister Ariel Sharon ended in deadlock. As a result, Jordan’s Crown Prince Hassan canceled scheduled talks with Netanyahu at the Naharayim enclave on the Israeli-Jordanian border.