President Sisi affirms Egypt's water rights in River Nile, to take necessary measures
CAIRO – 10 September 2019: President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi on Saturday affirmed Egypt’s water rights in the River Nile as Renaissance Dam negotiations reached a dead end as a result of the Ethiopian side's rejection to all proposals that take into account Egypt's water rights and interests.
“I have followed closely on the results of the tripartite meeting between irrigation ministers of Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia to discuss the file of the Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, which has not resulted in any positive development,” President Sisi said on his official Facebook page.
Irrigation ministers from three key Nile Basin countries, namely Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia, wrapped up a two-day meeting Saturday in Sudan’s capital without resolving differences over Ethiopia’s soon-to-be-finished Renaissance Dam.
“I affirm that the Egyptian state, with all its institutions, is committed to protecting Egypt’s water rights in the River Nile.
“Egypt will continue to take the necessary political measures within the framework of the International Law to protect these rights. The Eternal Nile will continue to strongly stream, connecting the South and the North with the bond of history and geography,” the Egyptian leader stressed.
President Sisi ended his post with two hashtag, namely “Long Live Egypt”, and “Egypt is the gift of the Nile,” referring to Greek historian Herodotus who described Egypt as the gift of the Nile, since Ancient Egypt owed its survival to the annual flooding of the Nile and the resulting depositing of fertile silt.
Egyptian Water Resources Minister Mohamed Abdel Aati has said talks have reached a deadlock, as Ethiopia rejected “all proposals that would avoid causing substantial damage to Egypt.”
“Ethiopia ... offered a new proposal that contradicts previously agreed principles governing the filling and operating process,” Muhammed el-Sebai, spokesman of the ministry, said in a press statement.
He said Egypt has called for international mediation “to help reach a fair and balanced agreement that protect the three countries’ rights.”
Egyptian presidency spokesman Bassam Radi said Egypt was looking forward to an “instrumental role” by the US in the talks.
Egypt, on Saturday, welcomed the White House statement regarding the ongoing negotiations on the Renaissance Dam, an official Saturday statement said.
A While House press statement has said the United States supports Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan’s ongoing negotiations to reach a cooperative, sustainable, and mutually beneficial agreement on filling and operating the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam.
“All Nile Valley countries have a right to economic development and prosperity,” according to the White House statement. “The Administration calls on all sides to put forth good faith efforts to reach an agreement that preserves those rights, while simultaneously respecting each other’s Nile water equities.”
Egypt welcomes White House statement on Renaissance Dam, int'l mediation to resolve deadlock
Egypt, through the statement, looks forward to a positive U.S. role in this regard, especially in light of the negotiation deadlock between the three countries over four years since direct negotiations regarding the agreement on Declaration of Principles in 2015 in Khartoum.
The statement further added that since negotiations did not achieve any tangible results, an effective international role is needed to overcome the current stalemate in negotiations, bring the view of the three countries closer, and to reach a fair and balanced agreement based on respect for the principles of the international law governing the management and use of international rivers, which allows countries to benefit from their water resources without harming the interests and rights of other countries.
“The state of Egypt echoes President Abdel Fattah El Sisi’s speech at the United regarding Egypt's openness to all international mediation effort to reach the required agreement,” the statement added.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi addresses the 74th session of United Nations General Assembly
The ministers discussed during their two-day meetings proposals on filling the dam and the outcome of meetings of the three-way technical committee that has reviewed the issues over four days.
The technical committee's discussions focused on proposals by the three parties about filling and operating the dam.
The latest round of talk between the two countries took place in Khartoum in September, with Sudan also seeking clarification over the dam, which will source water from the River Nile that each of the three countries rely on for water supplies.