Glimmer of light along the Nile

Mohamed Hegazy
Friday 14 Jul 2023

The agreement reached between President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi of Egypt and Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed of Ethiopia on the Ethiopian Dam represents a new ray of hope.

 

The consensus achieved between Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia on resuming negotiations to reach a legally binding agreement on the dam within the next four months is a positive step towards resolving outstanding issues and restoring trust among the three countries.

Given the regional and international turmoil, it is crucial to unite efforts in order to find common ground and address the concerns of all parties involved.

The agreement acknowledges the importance of stability, understanding, and cooperation, based on mutual interests, as the basis for the region's development.

The final statement issued by the end of the talks, and Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed's promise to take Egypt and Sudan's concerns into account during the fourth filling of the Ethiopian dam, sends a strong message from Ethiopia to break the current deadlock in the negotiations.

In this context, we should highlight that Egypt has consistently demonstrated its commitment to respecting Ethiopia's right to development while emphasizing the crucial need to uphold Egypt and Sudan's historical and acquired rights.

Sustainable and stable development in Ethiopia cannot be pursued if it adversely affects the interests of Egypt and Sudan or causes them harm.

The agreement, if reached, would have significant benefits for all three countries involved. It would contribute to achieving consensus on the framework agreement and the Nile Basin Initiative.

Furthermore, it will help the three countries to reach a consensus on establishing an authority to manage relations between the riparian countries, ensuring development for all.

The upcoming phase is of utmost importance, and the four-month deadline to reach an agreement is imperative given the extensive discussions that have taken place on this issue for nearly a decade.

Therefore, it is crucial to refrain from delaying the agreement, imposing unilateral decisions, or engaging in time-wasting tactics.

Collaborative, rather than individual, efforts and mutually beneficial actions are crucial for attaining security, stability, and mutual benefits from the Nile River's water resources.

This entails effective coordination among existing dams and expanding development projects to encompass electrical, road, river, and railway connections along the riverbanks.

A comprehensive vision that considers diverse interests and fosters creative cooperation is vital in achieving sustainable development and recognizing the significance of the Nile's water resources for the well-being of all the people in the region.

*The writer is former assistant foreign minister.

 

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