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Peres Promotes The Red-Dead Canal

President Shimon Peres (Photo: Amit Shabi)

President Shimon Peres arrived in Petra, where he met with King Abdullah II ahead of the a global conference for Nobel Peace Laureates named 'Petra IV: Reaching for New Economic, Scientific and Educational Horizons.' Peres is also seeking to promote the joint Israeli-Jordanian-Palestinian water canal from the Red Sea to the Dead Sea.

The proposed Red-Sea - Dead-Sea Canal

After years of study and evaluation, the current plan, as envisioned by Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority, is to construct a 112-mile (180 km) partially covered pipeline across the Wadi Araba (Arava), a desert region between Israel and Jordan that stretches from the Gulf of Aqaba in the south to the Dead Sea in the north. The canal would likely straddle the Israeli-Jordanian border, but remain almost entirely on Jordanian territory. Because of the Wadi Araba’s hilly terrain, water traveling through the pipeline would initially have to be pumped between 500 and 550 feet (150 meters) upward before dropping 1,900 feet (600 meters) via natural elevation decline on its way to the Dead Sea.

Theoretically, enough Red Sea water flowing into the Dead Sea could restore most of its water level over time. Moreover, hydroelectricity generated from the water coursing down the gradient would power a large desalination plant. Potable freshwater could then be delivered to urban areas, such as Jordan’s capital Amman, to relieve existing shortages. In addition, the canal’s supporters argue that construction could spark more joint Israeli-Jordanian-Palestinian tourism and development projects in the Wadi Araba region.

Petra IV: Reaching for New Economic, Scientific and Educational Horizons

Jordanian King Abdullah II

His Majesty King Abdullah will today inaugurate the 4th Petra Conference of Nobel Laureates, where participants will share their insight into pressing issues in the economic, scientific and cultural fields. The event attracts this year the participation of some 280 personalities, including 30 Nobel Prize winners.

King Abdullah will also deliver a speech at the inauguration of the event, which will witness the official launch of a $10 million Middle East Science Fund.

Among the participants this year are Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade, Arab League Secretary General Amr Musa and Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama. Nobel Prize winners taking part in the event come from the US, UK, Germany, Taiwan, Canada, Israel and the Netherlands.

The fund, which will be based in Jordan, will operate under the umbrella of the KAFD, in cooperation with the US-based Elie Wiesel Foundation. The Petra conference is organised by both organisations.

Participants will also discuss the global finance crisis, food security, bridging the gap between the advanced and developing countries, and challenges facing them, in addition to issues of development and youth, the attendees will also consider the best learning and teaching strategies which are already being implemented in education worldwide.

(sources: Jordanian Embassy, Federation of American Scientists)

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