Soaring food prices coupled with water shortages have created a problem across the Middle East region that a group of experts is hoping to solve.
The Atlantic Council’s N-7 initiative hosted a conference in the United Arab Emirates this week aimed at fostering collaboration between Israel and the Arab world to find outcomes that serve a broader community of people.
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“Our goal is to develop innovative regional solutions to the shared challenges of climate change, water scarcity and food insecurity,” Oren Eisner, president of the Jeffrey M. Talpins Foundation, said in a statement.
Event organizers said government experts, civil society participants and members of the private sector created actionable items aimed at positively impacting the lives of civilians across the region.
The gathering of representatives from 10 Muslim-majority countries, Israel and the United States follows the Abrahamic Accords. This series of normalization deals between Israel, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain has since opened the door to economic and security cooperation.
Amid heightened tensions in the Middle East over incidents between Israelis and Palestinians and the development of Iran’s nuclear program, much of the government’s focus is on security stability.
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“Moments of tension sometimes lead governments to act cautiously,” former US ambassador to Israel Daniel B. Shapiro, director of the N7 initiative, told Fox News. “What is remarkable about the N7 conference is that despite these tensions, participants from Israel and about ten Arab states were not only willing but eager to come to Abu Dhabi to meet.”
As a result of the talks in the United Arab Emirates, Shapiro said participants had expressed an interest in large-scale deployment of Israeli water technology across the Middle East, which could address food insecurity through collective action.
“Above all, they want to pool their knowledge and expertise and apply these solutions together as regional partners of N7,” said Shapiro.
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