Egypt's water minister hails new era in Egyptian-Ethiopian relations

Ahram Online , Tuesday 3 May 2011

Previous tensions over water quotas between Egypt and countries of the Nile Basin, especially Ethiopia, are subsiding following attempts at cooperation and coordination

River nile in cairo
River nile in cairo (Photo: Reuters)

Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation Hussein El-Atfy met with ministry senior officials today to discuss the formation of an Egyptian technical committee to study the Ethiopian Millennium Dam Project in accordance with the request of Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi.

El-Atfy said the committee would be formulated in coordination with the ministries of foreign affairs and international cooperation and in coordination with Sudanese counterparts.

The Egyptian minister commended the statements made by Zenawi earlier and said they reflected a new spirit in Egypt’s relationship with the countries of the Nile Basin after the 25 January Revolution.

He added that the decision by Ethiopia to postpone signing the agreement until the presidential elections take place in Egypt is a positive initiative ahead of the expected visit Egyptian Prime Minister Essam Sharaf will be making to Ethiopia. It also reflects the success of the Egyptian popular committee that visited Addis Ababa.

El-Atfy said we can expect increased cooperation between Egypt and Ethiopia in all areas and that Egypt is concerned not to refuse any project that is in the benefit of Ethiopian and the other Nile Basin countries as long as such projects do not negatively affect its water quota.

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