Kuwait, Iran vow to combat dust storms

By Yin Ke

KUWAIT CITY, July 5 (Xinhua) -- Kuwait and Iran signed a memorandum of understanding here on Tuesday to tackle sand and dust storms, a natural hazard in the region that has increasingly been fueled by climate change.

In a statement issued after the signing ceremony, Director General of Kuwait's Environment Public Authority Sheikh Abdullah Al-Humoud Al-Sabah said the agency is working extensively with countries in the region to exchange knowledge, experiences, and best practices, and "seeks to cooperate with all government agencies to increase green belts to reduce the effects of these dust storms."

He indicated that the reducing flow of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers has negatively affected Kuwait's environment and the water level of upper stream dams in northern Turkey needs to be reduced.

For his part, Ali Salajegheh, visiting Iranian vice-president and head of the Department of Environment, said the focus of the agreement is to jointly identify areas where the storms emerge and pose negative impacts on people and the country.

"Iran has completed an extensive research program and regional maps showing the source of these storms. We are prepared to share them with the Kuwaiti side to combat this phenomenon," he noted.

Speaking of a regional forum Iran will host on Tuesday on desertification and dust storms, Salajegheh stressed Iran's full readiness to present its achievements and projects to support environmental cooperation.

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