Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry (Photo: Reuters)
Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry is heading to Uganda on Monday for a visit aimed at boosting cooperation with Nile Basin countries, according to a ministry statement.
Shoukry will deliver a letter from President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi to his counterpart Yoweri Museveni dealing with water-security issues and the Nile Basin Initiative (NBI).
The visit will also involve discussions on bilateral relations and development cooperation, the statement said.
Last March, Egypt's Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation Mohamed Abdel-Ati attended a meeting of the NBI's council of ministers in Uganda's Entebbe.
The minsiters discussed concerns over the Cooperative Framework Agreement, more commonly known as the Entebbe Agreement, which was signed by six Nile Basin countries: Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda.
Egypt and Sudan have declined to sign the agreement, which sets out principles and obligations of member states regarding use of the basin's water resources, citing concerns about its reallocation of Nile water quotas and other provisions.
Historic water-sharing pacts between Egypt and Sudan divide the Nile waters between the two countries.
The NBI has 10 permanent members: Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Sudan, South Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda. Meanwhile, Eritrea has observer status.
The Grand Ethiopian Dam, which when construction is complete will be Africa's biggest hydroelectric dam, has been a source of concern for Egypt in recent years, with some experts arguing that filling and operating the dam will reduce the water that flows downstream to Egypt.