In 2010 in a historic series of meetings, four proactive leaders in the Middle East came together and forged ties for the creation of a future economic regional community. They had a vision to create a European Union for the Middle East and term it ‘Shamgen.’ The term was coined by the current President and the then Prime Minister of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, from Syria’s historical name of ‘Al-Sham,’ which stretched from Mesopotamia to the Eastern Mediterranean.
The Blue Peace: Achieving Peace and Security through Water Cooperation
Water is about people and human security. Unfortunately water has become a source of conflicts around the world, especially in the Middle East. There is a critical need for active water cooperation between nations in the region. This article discusses possible ways to achieve such cooperation, using tools developed under the Blue Peace concept. The article highlights a positive example of concrete steps taken by Turkey and Iraq in the area of track-two hydro diplomacy, which could potentially expand to other countries in the region. Experiences from around the world demonstrate that sustainable active water cooperation is possible and there are many examples that could be adapted by countries in the Middle East.
An Iraqi boy, whose family fled the city of Ramadi after it was seized by DAISH, carries a jerrycan of water at a camp housing displaced families. AFP PHOTO / AHMAD AL-RUBAYE
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