(Communicated by the Deputy Foreign Minister's Bureau)
Israel and Germany today (31 January 2011) held a joint Cabinet meeting in Jerusalem to mark the strengthening of cooperation between the two countries. Prior to the meeting, Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon and German Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development Dirk Niebel met and signed a joint Declaration of Intent aimed at increasing bilateral cooperation to assist developing nations. They discussed the continuation and enhancement of cooperation and assistance to developing countries, following the agreement signed last year. They reviewed progress in the implementation of projects in Ethiopia and Ghana, and decided on a new joint project - the rehabilitation of Lake Victoria, which is contaminated and enduring severe ecological adversity.
Lake Victoria is one of the Nile tributaries, with a shoreline shared between Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. The lake is a strategic resource, and as a large source of water and fish it provides a source of income and livelihood to local residents. Germany and Israel have decided to cooperate and to assist Kenya in its efforts to rehabilitate the regions adjacent to Lake Victoria, which has been severely contaminated. The contamination process has had a negative impact both on the water and the land adjacent to the sources of contamination.
Deputy FM Ayalon: "Globally, we are witnessing the instability of countries caused by socio-economic disparity. Aid projects with the objective of strengthening the socio-economic status of developing nations have become more important and urgent than ever. The aid provides the developing nations with a prospect of development, prosperity, wellbeing and stability. International aid is one of the most effective diplomatic tools, and three-party aid strengthens Israel’s relations with both the partner and with the recipient country, and allows for the distribution of Israeli technologies and strengthens the country’s socio-economic base."