Egypt's support to Nile Basin countries "irreversible": diplomat

08:04, July 13, 2010      

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A senior Egyptian diplomat said Monday that Cairo's support to the Nile Basin countries is irreversible, affirming that an affiliate of the Foreign Ministry concentrates more on cooperation with the riparian nations.

Fatma Galal, secretary general of the Egyptian Fund for Technical Cooperation with Africa, denied intention to withdraw the fund's experts from the Nile Basin countries after five of the riparian nations signed the Cooperative Framework Agreement on the equitable use of water despite Cairo's boycott, state-run MENA news agency reported.

The Egyptian support for African nations, especially the Nile Basin countries, is irreversible, the senior diplomat said.

Galal estimated the appropriations dedicated for cooperation with the Nile Basin countries at 55 percent of the fund's 100 million Egyptian pounds (around 17.5 million U.S. dollars) annual budget.

Egypt and Sudan have disagreed with five upstream countries, namely Ethiopia, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya, over the new Cooperative Framework Agreement on the equitable use of Nile water which they signed in mid-May despite boycotts of the two downstream nations.

However, cooperation between these countries seems to have been little affected.

Under a 1929 treaty between Egypt and Britain who represented colonial Sudan and some other upstream countries at that time and a 1959 Egypt-Sudan pact, Egypt and Sudan have the right to use about 90 percent of the river's water. Egypt can veto any project affecting the water flow of the river.

Source: Xinhua


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