By World Bulletin,
EGYPT has welcomed a call by Tanzania for a review of the 2010 Comprehensive Framework Agreement signed by upstream Nile Basin countries, known as the Entebbe Agreement, to consider Egypt’s water needs.
In a statement, Egyptian Foreign Ministry spokesman Badr Abdel-Ati hailed the Tanzanian stance as “an important step towards the return of Nile Basin countries to the negotiating table and constructive dialogue to reach a comprehensive agreement that protects the interests of all basin countries and helps them realize maximum use of Nile water.”
In 2010, upstream states Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania signed the Entebbe agreement in an effort to increase their traditional shares of Nile water.
Burundi signed on to the agreement in 2011.
The deal aims to replace a colonial-era treaty that gives Egypt and Sudan the lion’s share of river water.
Both Egypt and Sudan declined to sign the deal, fearing it would affect their historical allotment of water.
On Monday, Tanzanian Foreign Minister Bernard Kamillius Membe said in a written document submitted to parliament and a copy of which obtained by Anadolu Agency that his government believed that the Entebbe agreement “ought to be reviewed in favor of Egypt.”
He added that his country felt obliged to think about the population of Egypt, which he described as a desert country that has no river, underground water or sufficient rainfall.
The top diplomat said his country would call for a meeting of all Nile Basin states to review the agreement in light of Egypt’s economic and social needs.
Abdel-Ati said Egypt was awaiting more details regarding the Tanzanian initiative.
He said Cairo was ready to “positively deal” with any proposals that might narrow the gap among Nile Basin nations.
Egypt, the spokesman went on to say, underlines the “importance of serious dialogue to settle differences through serious negotiations and genuine desire to reach win-win solutions for all sides without harming the interests of any party.”
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