Egypt to participate in Nile Basin Initiative conference after 5-year hiatus
Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam - AFP

CAIRO: An Egyptian delegation, headed by Irrigation and Water Resources Minister Hossam Moghazy, is scheduled to travel to Khartoum Saturday to participate in the Nile Basin Initiative’s (NBI) conference, after a five-year hiatus, Youm7 reported.

The nine Nile Basin Countries are expected to participate in this year’s Nile Council of Ministers’ (Nile-COM) one-day conference, slated to be held in the Sudanese capital of Khartoum.

“During the conference, Egypt is set to give its views on the future of relations among the Nile Basin countries along with amendments on certain items in the Entebbe agreement,” Moghazy was quoted by Youm7 Thursday.

In 2010, five upstream countries, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania, signed the Cooperative Framework Agreement, also known as the Entebbe Agreement, seeking equitable sharing of the Nile waters that would allow for more irrigation and electricity development projects.

The move was strongly condemned by Egypt and Sudan and was seen as a violation of an earlier treaty signed during the colonial era between Egypt and Great Britain in 1929 which gave Cairo and Khartoum the right to veto projects in the upstream countries that would affect its water share.

Following the signing of Entebbe Agreement in 2010, Egypt and Sudan, who own over 85 percent of the river waters according to the colonial-era treaty, froze their activities in the NBI.

There was another agreement signed between Egypt and Sudan in 1959 agreement. It gave Egypt the right to 55.5 billion cubic meters of Nile water and Sudan 18.5 billion cubic meters per year.

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