Middle Eastern mayors see water as pathway to peace

Live webcast and panel discussion May 8 at Wilson Center in Washington, DC, draws Israeli, Palestinian and Jordani mayors to discuss competing needs that threaten to drain the Jordan River Valley of its fresh water and cultural heritage. Good Water Neighbors, a cooperative initiative launched by the NGO Friends of the Earth Middle East (FoEME), brings together Israelis, Palestinians, and Jordanians to preserve the fragile environment that's fundamental to their histories and their development...

Live webcast and panel discussion May 8 at Wilson Center in Washington, DC, draws Israeli, Palestinian and Jordani mayors.

WASHINGTON, DC, May 4, 2006 -- The Jordan River Valley -- steeped in religious symbolism -- is vital to the health and spirit of the Middle East. But the competing needs of Israel, Syria, and Jordan threaten to drain the valley of its fresh water and its cultural heritage. Good Water Neighbors, a cooperative initiative launched by the NGO Friends of the Earth Middle East (FoEME), brings together Israelis, Palestinians, and Jordanians to preserve the fragile environment that is fundamental to their histories and their development.

The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars will host a lively panel discussion featuring mayors from Israel, Palestine and Jordan, along with representatives from FoEME. The speakers will explore how their bordering communities can blaze a path toward greater political cooperation and peace by managing their shared water resources. This meeting will be webcast LIVE on the Wilson Center's website at www.wilsoncenter.org.

The title of the event -- set for May 8 from 3-5 p.m. -- is "Rehabilitating the Jordan River Valley Through Cross-Border Community Cooperation." It will be held at Flom Auditorium, 6th Floor, Wilson Center, 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C.

Among those scheduled to attend are:
• Mahmoud Ahmad Abujaber, Mayor, Mua'z Bin Jabal Municipality, Jordan
• Hasan S. I. (Saleh) Hussein, Mayor, Jericho, Palestinian Territories
• Dov Litvinoff, Mayor, Tamar Dead Sea Regional Council, Israel
• Wajdy Abdelhameed Masaadeh, Mayor, Tabket Fahel Municipality, Jordan
• Yael Shaltieli, Mayor, Beit She'an Regional Council, Israel
• Munqeth Mehyar, Chair, Friends of the Earth Middle East
• Gidon Bromberg, Israeli Director, Friends of the Earth Middle East
• Nader al-Khateeb, Palestinian Director, Friends of the Earth Middle East

The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars is the living, national memorial to President Wilson established by Congress in 1968 and headquartered in Washington, D.C. It is a nonpartisan institution, supported by public and private funds, engaged in the study of national and world affairs. The Center establishes and maintains a neutral forum for free, open, and informed dialogue.

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