CAIRO – 26 October 2019: At the 18th Summit of the Heads of State and Government of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) held in Azerbaijan, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry discussed water scarcity issue facing the African Sahel and Egypt, according to a statement by the ministry on Saturday.
“The problem of water scarcity has become a threat to many parts of the world, especially the African Sahel and Egypt […] all parties when they deal with trans-boundary rivers and water streams, should act in good faith with an approach to avoid disputes and conflicts,” said Shourkry in his speech.
Shoukry called for respecting the international law, pursuing good governance of rivers in a way that preserves the interests of the Nile basin countries, the statement added.
The Minister called upon the international community to give attention to developing countries and supporting their endeavors towards development.
Shoukry reviewed Egypt’s political stances towards the Palestinian cause, counter-terrorism efforts, Syrian crisis, and Libyan turmoil, the statement said.
Egypt and Ethiopia are at loggerheads over the $4-billion dam; Cairo voiced concern over its water share after Ethiopia started building the dam on the Blue Nile in May 2011.
A series of tripartite talks between the two countries along with Sudan began in 2014. One year later, the three countries signed the Declaration of Principles, per which the downstream countries [Egypt and Sudan] should not be negatively affected by the construction of the dam. However, Cairo and Addis Ababa have recently blamed each other for hindering a final agreement concerning a technical problem.