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Cablegate: Jordan Notes Cool Reception for Red-Dead Project

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

060901Z Sep 05

UNCLAS AMMAN 007112

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: SENV IS JO
SUBJECT: Jordan Notes Cool Reception for Red-Dead Project

Ref: A) Amman 4726, B) State 130427

1. Summary: Jordanian Ministry of Planning (MOP) Secretary
General Maher Madadha told Econcouns and ESTHOff on August
31 that the GOJ has noted with concern the donor community's
cool response to requests for funding of the feasibility
study for the "Red-Dead" water conveyance project. The GOJ
continues to push the project as the way to "rescue" the
Dead Sea. End summary.

If You Think Paying for the Feasibility Study is Tough...
--------------------------------------------- ------------

2. S/G Madadha said that the GOJ would like to see more
donor support for the "Red-Dead" project to desalinate ocean
water from the Red Sea for municipal use and to "rescue" the
plummeting Dead Sea with the resulting brine (Ref A). He
said that the French and U.S. contributions to the
feasibility study (Ref B), representing about one-third of
the estimated $15.5 million cost, are still the only solid
commitments. Econcouns encouraged Madadha to seek
additional funding for the study from Gulf countries and
from Japan, noting current USG budget constraints.

3. S/G Madadha said the GOJ sees the cool donor support for
the feasibility study as an indicator of a lack of support
for the project itself. He asked how the multibillion
dollar project can happen if donors won't even pony up for
the feasibility study. He described Red-Dead as an
important regional (read Peace Process) and international
project, not something that is just for Jordan's benefit.
He said that Red-Dead would protect the Dead Sea, a unique
global treasure, and deserved strong international support
on that basis.

4. Comment: Jordan is looking past the feasibility study to
the project itself. We need to keep the GoJ focused on
asking the right questions and getting real answers from the
feasibility study, not in moving toward a predetermined
outcome.

HALE

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