Al-Azhar’s Grand Imam Ahmed El-Tayyeb has reiterated his support for the Egyptian and Sudanese governments in the pursuit of their water rights, reaffirming that the matter cannot tolerate complacency.
El-Tayyeb made the statements ahead of a United Nations Security Council (UNSC) session that will be held on Thursday at the request of Egypt and Sudan over the GERD dispute.
El-Tayyeb called on the international, African, Arab and Islamic communities to stand shoulder-to-shoulder and assist Egypt and Sudan in protecting their water rights and to confront those that claim ownership over the Nile, which he described as public property that is an important resource for life.
The Grand Imam, who presides over the Sunni Muslim world’s top religious institution, re-affirmed that supporting Egypt’s leadership is an inarguable duty.
Al-Tayyeb stressed that all religions agree that the resources necessary for life, such as rivers, are public property, and under no circumstances is it right for an individual or state to take ownership of them alone.
Al-Tayyeb also said that taking over a God-given resource like water is tantamount to theft and an act of aggression.
“The Nile is the lifeblood of Egypt, which has always been and still is an advocate of peace and stability for all. Therefore, defending the rights of its people to secure their share of water is a duty that cannot be disputed. If it is acknowledged that no one can take away Ethiopia’s right to develop and benefit from the river, then no one can also take away the historical right of the Egyptian people to the waters of the Nile,” said El-Tayyeb.