Peres plans to turn the Middle East green

Wednesday, January 17, 2007 |  by Staff Writer  

In a project that calls for the planting of 4 million olive trees in Israel and Jordan on an area of up to 50,000 acres at a cost of $8 million, the vice premiere hopes to reduce dependency on military and political means to solve problems in the region and begin using economic tools.

“We must improve the relations between the peoples,” Peres said.

The olive trees would not only have ecological importance, but would create thousands of jobs in forestry, olive oil manufacturing, marketing and exports. The trees would be irrigated with recycled and purified water and not with drinking water.

Peres presented his plans to Italy’s Deputy Foreign Minister Ugo Intini and asked if Italy would take part in this project. Intini said the olive tree is symbolical to Italians as well and promised to discuss the project in Rome.

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