20 Egyptians and their Spouses Complete MASHAV Course

(Communicated by the Foreign Ministry Spokesman)
August 20, 1997

On the 21st of August a ceremony will take place for the graduates of the "Agricultural Farm Management" course, sponsored by MASHAV (the Foreign Ministry’s Center for International Cooperation), for about 20 Egyptian university graduates and their wives. As part of this course they learned about living in agricultural settlements in the western desert of Egypt (between Cairo and Alexandria). This settlement plan is part of a master plan put forward by the president of Egypt to train and settle university graduates in villages being built in the Western desert.

This course is one in a long series of courses which are being conducted in close cooperation between MASHAV, Denmark (through DANIDA) and Egypt. The course was held at the CINADCO training center (Center for International Agricultural Development Cooperation) of the Ministry of Agriculture.

Since the beginning of the of the trilateral project in 1993, about 2000 Egyptians have arrived in Israel for training and about 50 on-site courses have taken place in Egypt for students who had undergone training in Israel.

Foreign Ministry Deputy Director-General for MASHAV, Mr. Haim Divon, stated: "We attach special significance to the Egyptian component of our MASHAV program and believe that these projects contribute much, not only from a professional standpoint but also to strengthening the relations and cooperation between the Egyptian and Israeli peoples. This continuing special relationship with the thousands of graduates and the Egyptian agricultural establishment serves as proof of this.

In 1994 a trilateral agreement was signed between the governments of Israel, Denmark and Egypt for an agricultural training program for Egyptian trainees. This program is consistent with the Egyptian government’s national agenda to settle university graduates in desert areas along the Nile River. The aim of the program is to provide the graduates with housing and jobs as well as to contribute to the agricultural development of this arid area. This program is partially based on trainees’ participation in MASHAV courses in Israel and the holding of on-site courses in the Maryut training center, located in Nubariya, Egypt (near Alexandria).

The parties have been satisfied with the implementation of the trilateral agreement, and have therefore decided to continue the program in its present format until the end of 1998. Alongside this, it has been decided to draw up an expanded multilateral program in the areas of instruction and agricultural research with the participation of Israel, Egypt, Jordan, and the Palestinian Authority. Courses will be held in each of these locations, as well as on-site courses and joint research projects.

We wish to thank the government of Denmark for its readiness to cover a considerable part of the costs of the training program. The graduation ceremony will take place at the Shoresh Guest House in the Jerusalem corridor, in the presence of representatives of the Foreign Ministry and the Danish Embassy in Israel.