Egypt still rejects Nile Basin's Cooperative Framework Agreement: Irrigation minister
Ahram Online, , Friday 18 Dec 2015
The minister also said that the final tripartite Renaissance dam meetings in December will lead to a roadmap

Egyptian Irrigation Minister Hossam Moghazi says Egypt still has concerns about the Cooperative Framework Agreement signed by a number of Nile Basin States, and will not sign the treaty in its current form.

Moghazi, who is currently visiting a number of water projects sponsored by the Egyptian government in Kampala, told Al-Ahram newspaper on Friday that the agreement neglects a number of controversial issues.

"The controversies are related to the dangers and impacts related to the establishment of any future dams," Moghazi said.

The agreement between a number of Nile Basin countries, which is also known as the Entebbe agreement, is meant to replace the 1929 colonial-era agreement that awarded Egypt and Sudan the majority use of the Nile River.

Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, Kenya, Burundi and Ethiopia have signed the agreement.

Tanzania and Uganda have recently called on Egypt to change its stance on the treaty, in order to unify the Nile Basin countries.

Speaking about the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, Moghazi said that he does not believe that another round of talks following the one scheduled for 27-28 December will take place.

"The upcoming tripartite meeting aims at developing a mechanism to a roadmap that will put in action the declaration of principles, especially the part related to the storage duration and the operation of the Ethiopian dam," the irrigation minister said.

The dam on the Blue Nile in Ethiopia, scheduled to be completed in 2017, will be Africa's largest hydroelectric power plant, with a storage capacity of 74 billion cubic metres.

Egypt has repeatedly expressed concerns that filling and operating the dam on the Blue Nile will negatively affect its water supply. Ethiopia has rejected these claims, arguing that the two downstream countries, Egypt and Sudan, will benefit from the project.