Middle-East Dialogue

Between 2003 and 2008, Israeli and Jordanian delegations met at the Wittenberg Center to discuss their economies and potential avenues for economic cooperation.

The idea for the forum was to support the peace process in the Middle East by helping to develop cooperation between corporations and other forms of mutual economic engagement in the private sector in addition to the perceptibly limited opportunities for reconciliation which were available to the public sector. At the heart of the initiative was the question regarding how international cooperation in the region could be developed. Topics such as general economic ties, tourism, trade, information technology, water supply and renewable energy were discussed.

The Peres Center for Peace, founded by the Israeli Nobel Peace Prize winner and Prime Minister, Shimon Peres, and the Jordanian Amman Center for Peace and Development, led by General a.D. Mansur Abu Rashid, organized the activities. Until 2008, the Daimler AG financed the forums to a major extent and also provided impulses regarding the issues to be discussed. The Wittenberg Center was the neutral moderator for the discussions. The center’s approach to business ethics constituted the basis for systematically searching for opportunities for cooperation for mutual advantage and identifying the conditions which needed to be met in order for these opportunities to be realized.

The initial meetings were dedicated to establishing a general trust basis between the participants and after this foundation was laid, specific projects could be developed. In 2008, the decision was reached to found an Israeli-Jordanien Joint Venture focused on developing the renewable energy sector in the region. The trust developed via the dialogue process had been sufficient to withstand the conflict in the region, which had meanwhile escalated.