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Egypt, Israel and the U.S. Hold Their First Scientific Conference

July 23, 1981
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Agricultural experts from Egypt, Israel and the United States successfully concluded a week-long conference in San Diego held June 22-27 it was reported here today by the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. The conference was the first such scientific trilateral meeting among the three nations, and took place for the purpose of planning arid land agricultural programs of mutual interest. Details of the meeting were not made public until now in order to give the participants freedom to establish programs free of external pressure.

The conference continued a relationship that was started in August and September 1980, when an initial meeting of oceanographers and marine biologists from the three countries met to discuss programs of common concern.

The conference last month focused on problems of common interest to the three nations, with particular emphasis on the use of saline water for crop production, investigation of arid land plants as a source of industrial raw materials and fodder production for use by small animals.

The Egyptian delegation of four participants was headed by Dr. Yousef Wally, chairman of the Agricultural Development Committee for the Ministry of Agriculture for the Arab Republic of Egypt. The Israeli delegation of four representatives was headed by Dr. Joel Schechter, director of the Applied Research Institute of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, and included Dr. Dov Pasternak, also of Ben-Gurion University’s Applied Research Institute, Prof. Amos Richmond, director of The Jacob Blaustein Institute for Desert Research at Ben-Gurion University and Prof. Amos Dovrat of Hebrew University.

Among the U.S. representatives and guests were, Dr. Jack Johnson from the Office of Arid Lands Studies at the University of Arizona; Dr. Emmanuel Epstein from the Office of Land and Water Resources at the University of California, in Davis, and Dr. Jan van Schilfgaarde, director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Salinity Laboratory in Riverside, Calif.


The concept of the historic project came from the Fred Hansen Foundation. The objective of the Foundation is to promote world peace by sponsoring programs which will lead to constructive peaceful activities among nations. Hansen was a long time resident of San Diego who believed that one of the best ways to increase international understanding is to make it possible for people of other nations to interact with the people of the United States.

In an effort to take advantage of the progress made through the Camp David agreements, Leo Henrikson, a San Diego attorney who is the trustee of the Foundation, contacted the San Diego State University Foundation to formulate a program that would carry out the wishes of the late Hansen.

The San Diego State University Foundation is an auxiliary organization of San Diego State University. It is a non-profit corporation, self-financed, and is chartered specifically to provide or augment essential services that are an integral part of the educational program of the university. The purpose of the Foundation is to promote the development, implementation, and coordination of those activities which aid and supplement the fundamental mission of San Diego State University.

Proceedings of the conference are being finalized and put into a proposal for long-term funding of agricultural projects.

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