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Arab-int’l coordination over water conservation – Kuwait participates in meet to discuss water security

CAIRO: Kuwaiti Minister of Electricity and Water and Minister of Public Works Eng Abdulaziz Al-Ibrahim said yesterday that close coordination is well underway between the Arab countries and international organizations to conserve water resources. “The Arab League serves as an umbrella for cooperation among stakeholders and partners in this vital domain which is crucial for reaching the development goals of the Arab countries,” he told KUNA.

The minister made the remarks following the conclusion of the Fifth Session of the Arab Water Ministers Council. “The meeting reviewed the implementation of the resolutions of previous meetings and the Arab strategy for sustainable management of water resources,” Ibrahim pointed out. “The Saudi delegation briefed the conferees on their experiment in involving the private sector in building water distribution networks and drainage projects,” he disclosed, noting that this leading experiment could benefit other Arab countries. “We discussed the suffering of the Palestinian people in Gaza Strip due to not only the scarcity of drinkable water but also obstacles planted by the Israeli occupation authorities on their way to safe water and a decent drainage system,” he added.

“We also discussed the preparations for Arab participation in the International Conference on Sustainable Water Resources Management due in Stockholm, Sweden, on July 15-16, 2013, and the Seventh World Water Forum, to be held in Daegu City, South Korea, in 2015,” Ibrahim noted. The two events will provide an ample opportunity for sharing experiences and research results with world-renowned academics and experts about all aspects of water management, he said. Ibrahim was received at Cairo International Airport by the Kuwaiti Ambassador to Egypt Dr Rashid Al- Hamad and the Kuwaiti delegate undersecretary at the Arab League, advisor Ahmad Al-Baker.

Securing water is a key issue, repeatedly pondered by Arab decision makers, in light of dwindling and scarce resources. Some Arab countries are rich in water but others, such as the Gulf countries, including Kuwait, employ high technology to purify sea water or extract it from underground reservoirs. The issue of water is currently in the limelight at the regional level due to a decision by Ethiopia to build a dam on the River Nile, prompting Cairo to react alarmingly toward the scheme due to concern over the volume of water flow reaching Egypt. — KUNA

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This article was published on 07/06/2013