Senior sources at the Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation have said that Saudi Arabia and the UAE are preparing for an initiative to resolve the differences between Egypt and Ethiopia over the Renaissance Dam.
They added that the Gulf states, except Qatar, are pressing to construct a giant project in Egypt, Sudan and South Sudan to make use of the capabilities of the East Nile Basin countries.
They also said that regulations for running the Renaissance Dam would be put into effect once the project is completed so as not to threaten Egypt’s water quota.
The Gulf states invest some US$20 billion in the Nile Basin countries, which strengthens their position supporting Egypt in that region. They are a tool for rapprochement between Egypt and Ethiopia, not a means of pressure, the sources said.
The ministry has 18 projects for cooperation with the Nile Basin countries, including projects to harvest rain, provide drinking water for deprived areas, retrieve Nile water waste in swamps and build ports. Also the Ministries of Agriculture, Electricity, Transport and Trade have similar projects that they would present to Cabinet next week for approval.
Minister of Irrigation and Water Resources Mohamed Abdel Muttalib said in a press statement on Wednesday that Egypt is not against the development of the Nile Basin countries. “Despite our small grants compared with those of the Gulf states, we are keen on cooperation,” he said.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm
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