Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Abulgheit said in a Thursday that his talks with Ethiopian government officials on Nile water allocations focused on the need to build upon consensus, dpa reported.
Abulgheit, accompanied by Minister of International Cooperation Faiza Abunaga, held talks with Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi and Foreign Minister Seyoum Mesfin in Addis Ababa on Wednesday.
Ethiopia’s plans for hydropower projects using the river will not affect the Nile’s flow if the projects are implemented within a framework of agreement amongst the eastern countries of the basin – Sudan, Egypt, and Ethiopia, Abulgheit said in a press statement.
Egypt has been exerting diplomatic efforts against a treaty signed by Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, Rwanda, and Tanzania in May. The treaty increased the share of Nile water of these countries for irrigation and hydropower projects.
Egypt and Sudan strongly oppose the agreement, fearing that their historic majority share of the water supply would be severely reduced.
Cairo wants all the Nile basin countries to return to the negotiating table.
Egypt, which depends mainly on the Nile for its water consumption, has vowed to take legal action to maintain its current water rights that it has described as a “red line” not to be crossed.
The Information and Decision Support Centre (IDSC), a government think tank, warned last year that the country’s water needs would surpass its resources by the year 2017.
Egypt is allocated 55.5 billion cubic metres of water from the Nile each year, under a 1959 agreement with Sudan that was based on 1929 promises from Britain that it will not undertake projects in its East African colonies that would interfere with Egypt’s water supply.
Source: Egypt and Ethiopia discuss need for Nile water consensus – en.trend.az
Date: 08 July 2010