Egypt to continue cooperation with Nile Basin countries: minister

19:46, July 13, 2010      

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An Egyptian minister said Tuesday that his country will continue cooperation with the Nile Basin countries, the state-run MENA news agency reported.

A number of cooperation protocols are being prepared to cooperate with several Nile Basin countries in digging wells and establishing small dams, Egypt's Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation Mohamed Nasreddin Allam was quoted as saying by MENA.

The cooperation projects include establishing 180 water wells in Kenya and 30 water wells in Tanzania, and the number of wells for Tanzania was expected to rise to 100, said the Egyptian minister, adding that Egypt has extended some 20 million U.S. dollars grants to help Uganda.

On Sunday, 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.

Egypt's support for Nile Basin countries is "irreversible," said Galal.

Egypt and Sudan have disagreed with five upstream countries, namely Ethiopia, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya, over the new agreement they signed in mid-May despite boycotts of the two downstream nations, Egypt and Sudan.

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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