An overview for the Nile River in Cairo/ Hossam Atef
CAIRO - 5 May 2020: Egyptian Ambassador in Washington Motaz Zahran warned of Ethiopia's unilateral moves in river basins, as they would have serious impacts on the Nile River.
Zahran's warning came during his participation Tuesday in a symposium organized at the National War College (NWC) of the United States.
The event focused on the strategic importance of the Egyptian-US relations and Cairo's role in consolidating stability and security in the Middle East and Africa.
The Egyptian diplomat shed light on different regional challenges that require strengthening coordination among the parties of the international community to address them.
Regarding the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) issue, Zahran underlined that Egypt would never accept its water security to be compromised, cautioning against the unilateral filling and operating of the dam by Addis Ababa.
Such a move could be led to the aggravation of water scarcity in Egypt and exacerbating the negative impacts of climate change, as well as causing huge environmental, social and economic damage, the ambassador said.
He added that the issue of water in Egypt and Sudan should not be captive to the internal situation in Ethiopia.
The Egyptian ambassador explained that successive Ethiopian administrations deliberately pursued policies based on fueling public opinion concerning the issue of Nile water, to contain the chronic internal tensions in Ethiopia, instead of seeking to reach a compromise solution that secures the common interest of the region's peoples.
He underlined Egypt could not allow the recurrence of such unilateral Ethiopian practices in the Nile Basin, noting that the Nile Water is an existential issue and a matter of life for the Egyptian people.
The Egyptian ambassador called on the US to support the African Union-sponsored negotiations between Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia to reach a legally binding agreement concerning filling and operating the dam as soon as possible.