Iraq asks Israel: Help us fight desertification

Tuesday, December 13, 2011 |  Ryan Jones

While last week's Conference on Climate Change in Durban, South Africa produced scant results, it did provide the backdrop for an interesting exchange between Israel and at least two nations officially "at war" with the Jewish state.

Jewish National Fund representatives said their booth was approached by representatives from Iraq and Tunisia seeking help in fighting desertification in their countries, reported Israel's Yediot Ahronot newspaper.

The head of the Iraqi delegation, Susan Sami Jameel Albanaa, who is head of air pollution control at the Iraqi Ministry of the Environment, requested Israeli assistance, and hoped an open dialogue on the issue of desertification could be kept open between her office and the Israeli representatives. Her colleague, Mohamed Bahir, also asked the Israelis for help in controlling greenhouse gas emissions.

Among many other visitors to the Israeli booth was a representative from Afghanistan who reportedly swapped stories with the Jewish National Fund officials, and concluded by saying he had never conversed with Israelis before and was very glad for the opportunity.

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