Norma Na’mat – Al-Hayat – 14th July 2017
Hazem al-Naser, the Jordanian Minister for Water and Irrigation, has praised the Palestinian-Israeli agreement which was reached between the two sides yesterday in Jerusalem, under the care of the United States. He noted that it represents a Palestinian claim to the results of the memorandum of understanding on the Red Sea-Dead Sea Water Conveyance, which was signed by Jordan, the Palestinian Authority and Israel in Washington in December 2013 and witnessed by the US government and the World Bank. The memorandum granted the Palestinian side more than 30 million cubic metres of water annually.
al-Naser believes that this agreement “has achieved for our Palestinian brothers and sisters additional water supplies over what has they are granted by the Oslo accords and what followed them, in addition to Palestine’s sovereign water rights.” He emphasised that the new supplies “will provide the West Bank and Gaza with additional water supplies beginning this summer until 2021, which will ease the large water burden affecting the Palestinians.” Al-Naser committed to the continuation of “Jordanian efforts which have been expended in this matter, building on the unshakeable Jordanian desire to support the Palestinians and empower them in all cases. Water, especially, in the West Bank and Gaza, is one of these cases, as there has been an acute shortage of drinking water in these areas in years past.” He explained that “the implementation of subsequent stages of the Conveyance project will guarantee additional benefits for the Palestinians if implemented.”
Jordan, as the first country to implement the project, is greatly concerned with the plan, as it forms one of the most important pillars of Jordan’s water strategy. The project will supply Jordan with drinking water for many years to come, while also protecting the environment of the Dead Sea, which is considered a historical treasure and important economic resource for the country.
Translated by Conor Fagan
Original article found here.
Dead Sea – Al-Quds.com
President of the Palestine Economic Council for Development & Reconstruction (PECDAR), Dr. Mohammed Shtayyeh, has called on Arab banks to create an investment fund for Palestine, the monies of which would support productive projects, especially those in sectors which generate jobs, or are run on a for-profit, rather than a charitable, basis. During his speech at the “Reality of the Palestinian Financial Sector: Opportunities and Challenges” conference, Dr Shtayyeh said “Palestine is daring and the Arabs are daring, let capital be daring also.” The conference, organised by the Union of Arab Banks, takes place at the Dead Sea in Jordan today and tomorrow.
Dr Shtayyeh stressed the role of the private sector in the gradual disengagement from colonial dependency imposed on us by the occupation. He indicated that there is an official preference for strengthening economic relations with the Arab world. The Palestinian economy could act as a winch for policy decisions, he said, and enable local products to take the place of the Israeli products in our markets, and bolster the positions of our people in Jerusalem.
Shtayyeh laid out a picture of the economic situation to Arab investors and banking representatives, analysing the disturbances in the structure of the Palestinian economy caused by the occupation, as a result of the control over resources and borders. He said that despite all the challenges, there have still been success stories, such as the success of the banking sector, noting that the size of deposits in Palestinian banks is approximately 12 billion dollars. He added that the amount of corporate funds traded on the Palestinian securities market is valued at almost 3.5 billion dollars, and that there are about 115 thousand stockholders in companies listed on the Palestinian stock exchange.
Dr Shtayyeh explained that Palestinian banks are working under exceptional circumstances as a result of the occupation, which necessitates exceptional treatment to address the obstacles which they face. He asked Arab banks to grant facilities for productive loans, and to make it a priority to encourage investors to develop projects which would create jobs. He continued by saying that the private sector must be the principal creator of employment, and that it is unhealthy for the Palestinian Authority to remain the largest employer of the Palestinian workforce.
A number of challenges lie ahead for the Palestinians, Shtayyeh told the conference. First is the extremist government in Israel, which does not want a solution, and which undermines the Palestinian state through a tight grip on Area C, the Jordan Valley, Jerusalem, and the Gaza blockade, and its further attempts at “settlement bleaching” and its striving to make settlement legal. As for the second challenge, according to Shtayyeh, that resides with the new American establishment, which has not yet fully expressed its foreign policy, despite all the negative press which it has received. The third challenge is the weakening of Arab nations, and the destructive conflicts which it is experiencing, while finally the fourth challenge is to end the division and if there is a will, to work towards a possible solution for the conflict.
Translated by Conor Fagan
Original article found here.
‘Violent clashes in the city of Ma’an in south Jordan’
Reports are coming in from Jordan of the renewal of violent clashes between security forces and a number of the residents of the city of Ma’an in the south of the country. Eyewitnesses say that clashes broke out in the Hijaziah and Shamiah districts in addition to the area around the security headquarters in the north of the city.
Turkey witnessed 9% growth in the number of tourists coming from Arab states last year, with over 3 million Arabs visiting the country for a number of reason. Tourists come to Turkey from around the Middle East for a variety of reasons, including shopping opportunities, hair transplants and to purchase homes. Continue reading
The Karak Governorate of Jordan witnessed a demonstration today in which protesters demanded reform and called US Secretary of State John Kerry’s Middle East Peace Plan an attempt to liquidate the Palestinian cause at the expense of Jordanians and Palestinians.
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper visited the Zaatari refugee camp for Syrian refugees today to see first hand the living conditions of residents and the current humanitarian assistance available to them. Harper also traveled south to the ancient city of Petra, a popular destination for tourists and one of the Seven Wonders of the World.
Jordan’s Minister of Media Affairs and official government spokesperson Mohammed Momani stressed the important of Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s current trip to the kingdom. The two countries signed a free trade agreement that came into effect in 2012 and are looking to further strengthen bilateral relations and economic cooperation.
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper continues his visit to the Middle East. Today he was in Amman and met with Jordanian Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour to discuss further opportunities for economic cooperation between the two countries. Canada will provide Jordan with $100 million over the next five years to assist in further developing the country’s infrastructure. Waves of Syrian refugees are adding to the “burden” already placed upon Jordan by Palestinian refugees.
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper arrived in Amman today on an official visit to Jordan. The PM is scheduled to hold talks with King Abdullah II about the ways to strengthen bilateral relations, investment and tourism between the two countries, as well as current developments in the Middle East generally.