Egypt reassess stance on Nile Basin Initiative

Egypt and Sudan have frozen participation in initiative since 2012

Egypt reassess stance on Nile Basin Initiative

World Bulletin/News Desk

Irrigation Minister Hossam Moghazi said Egypt was reevaluating its position vis-à-vis the 1999 Nile Basin Initiative.

"Egypt is reconsidering its stance on the initiative in light of recent developments," Moghazi told Anadolu Agency on Thursday.

Egypt and Sudan have frozen participation in the activities of the initiative, a regional inter-governmental partnership among 10 Nile riparian countries signed in 1999, since 2012.

Moghazi's remarks came on the same day that Cairo began hosting a meeting of a technical committee tasked with discussing a controversial mega-dam currently being built by Ethiopia on the Nile's upper reaches.

The two-day meeting of the technical committee – which includes representatives from Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan – is aimed at reaching agreement on the consultants to be tasked with selecting an international consultancy firm to study the dam's anticipated impact on downstream states.

Egypt fears construction of the $6.4-billion dam could threaten its traditional share of Nile water.

Minister Moghazi ruled out, however, any possibility, at present, of Egypt signing the 2010 Comprehensive Framework Agreement (CFA), also known as the Entebbe agreement.

"The problem remains with outstanding points that must be tabled and discussed before any decision," he told AA.

The agreement was signed in 2010 by the five upstream states of Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania. Burundi joined a year later.

Egypt dismissed the agreement as a violation of international law and insists on abidance by a colonial-era water-sharing treaty that gives Egypt and Sudan the lion's share of Nile water.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 16 Ekim 2014, 22:41

Muhammed Öylek