A Ministerial delegation has departed Egypt to begin a three-stop tour of Nile Basin countries in an attempt to strengthen relations and cooperation with the countries.
Interim Minister of Foreign Affairs Nabil Fahmy will visit Uganda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo during the tour and will be accompanied by interim Minister of Agriculture Ayman Abu Hadid and interim Minister of Housing, Utilities and Urban Development Ibrahim Mahlab, according to a Ministry of Foreign Affairs statement.
The tour, according to the statement, “reflects the upmost importance the Egyptian government attaches to strengthening cooperation… with Nile Basin countries.” The ministers are expected to stress the importance of using the Nile River as “a tool for cooperation and to achieve mutual benefits for all countries in the Nile Basin.”
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs stressed that in order to achieve these benefits, the “developmental needs of the basin countries” must be recognised and addressed. The statement added that Egypt is keen to contribute its expertise in this field and to explore investment in the Nile Basin.
Fahmy himself is expected to deliver a message from interim President Adly Mansour, which promotes cooperation and “constructive dialogue” to “ensure the promotion of development, stability and prosperity for the peoples of the Nile Basin countries.”
The tour will also give Fahmy an opportunity to meet with Ugandan, Burundian and Congolese officials to discuss bilateral relations and regional issues. The statement pointed out that the Nile water issue would be top of the agenda for discussions. In addition, Fahmy will raise the issue of promoting stability in East Congo and the “situation in the Horn of Africa and relations within the framework of the African Union.”
Following the removal of Mohamed Morsi as president of Egypt on 3 July, the African Union decided to suspend Egypt’s membership to its Peace and Security Council, a decision that Fahmy has denounced.