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Egypt Says Won’t Compromise Rights to Nile Waters

Egypt Says Won’t Compromise Rights to Nile Waters

Saturday, 19 October, 2019 - 06:15
Madbouly speaks at the opening ceremony for the first China International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai, China November 5, 2018. REUTERS/Aly Song/Pool

Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly said on Friday that his country would not compromise Egypt’s rights to the water of the Nile River, which is the country’s lifeline.

The PM was speaking in Washington, where he met this week Republican Senator James Rich, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Senator Bob Menendez, the leader of the Democratic Minority Committee.

Madbouly reviewed with the two senators the negotiations with Ethiopia over the dam it is building on the Nile and explained Egypt’s flexibility in the protracted talks.

On Sunday, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said he will meet with the Ethiopian Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed, in efforts to restart critical talks over Ethiopia's soon-to-be-finished Blue Nile dam, which Cairo says threatens its water supply.

Sisi didn't disclose the time of the meeting, but he will co-chair a two-day Russia-Africa summit on Oct. 23 in the coastal city of Sochi.

Negotiations between Cairo and Addis Ababa over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) were frozen after Ethiopia rejected proposals on the rules of filling the reservoir and the operating the dam.

Last week, Egypt’s Water Resources and Irrigation Ministry said that negotiations with Ethiopia reached a dead end after the two sides failed to reach an agreement over the filling of the GERD.

The Egyptian PM stated Friday that Cairo has sought to reach a solution that takes into account the interests of all parties.

Egypt says filling the dam's giant reservoir will severely diminish its portion of waters downstream, and has called for international mediation to help reach a "fair and balanced" agreement.

On the situation in the region, Madbouly said Friday that Cairo demands the immediate withdrawal of Turkish forces from Syrian territories.

During his presence in Washington, Madbouly also met with US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross.

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