France, Israel sign deal on environmental partnership

The two countired signed an intergovernmental agreement to share resources and collaborate on environmental projects.

sarkozy peres 224 88 (photo credit: AP)
sarkozy peres 224 88
(photo credit: AP)
France and Israel have signed an intergovernmental agreement to share resources and collaborate on environmental projects during French President Nicolas Sarkozy visit. The partnership will center around joint work on water treatment, protection of nature and management of renewable energy. "The two states have an interest in cooperating on environmental issues, in working together on the environment," said Ori Livne, a spokesperson for Israel's Environmental Protection Ministry. "We need to think not only about local but also about regional and global concerns. We need to use their experience and share our experience with other countries." The agreement will manifest in a series of joint meetings, seminars and projects between Israel and France that will relate to the two countries' respective environmental policies and the governments' abilities to carry out their desired projects based on the resources they each have. Although several French and Israeli companies work on water treatment and renewable energy, Livne said that there were no provisions in the agreement that referenced governmental cooperation with independent businesses. "We will work according to the projects that interest us, our ability and our policy," she said. "Everything will happen according to our policy." Israel has collaborated with several countries on environmental technology, including Germany and India. Although each agreement is unique, Livne said that Israel places great importance on international environmental collaboration, as the environment is a global issue. "Everything depends on the experience of each country, but international relations on this issue, because it's an international issue, are important to Israel," said Livne. "It's important that we can work with the European Union and with other countries in as many channels as possible." By the same token, Livne hopes that this agreement will lead to stronger relations between Israel and France. "We hope that this will be a base for increasing dialogue between the two countries," she said.