Egypt’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sameh Shoukry, headed to the Ugandan city of Entebbe on Monday to take part in the ministerial meeting of Nile Basin states. The meeting will take place Wednesday followed by the presidential summit of Nile Basin states on Thursday.
Preparatory meetings for the summit of Nile Basin countries will be held on Tuesday. Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson, Ahmed Abu Zeid, described the summit as a unique event because it is the first summit to gather all the Nile Basin states, and will help in passing the issue of water to cooperation in developmental fields.
Shoukry is participating in the preparatory meeting to present the Egyptian perspective of the issues. President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi told Shoukry to extend his efforts so the meeting is successful and to work on bringing the views of all the parties closer together regarding the current water issues by focusing on cooperation and common interests such as the developmental sectors, cultural areas, and security measures, as well as political coordination, Abu Zeid added.
According to Abu Zeid, Egypt is ready to cooperate with all Nile Basin states with no conditions, and hopes the brothers in Nile Basin states realise that all cooperation experiments on common river basins in Africa and worldwide are based on principles of common interest and not on harming any country in the basin, so the Nile Basin states must introduce a successful model for these experiments to succeed.
Also, he pointed out that the Nile Basin Initiative is a good chance for cooperation, building trust, and achieving common interests, this is if it manages to do so in accordance with agreed-upon principles and achieves the common interest of all countries.
Egypt has high expectations for the summit to result in a common vision to reactivate the initiative in accordance with these principles, Abu Zeid said. Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi will also head to the Ugandan capital, Kampala, on Wednesday to participate in the long-awaited presidential summit of the Nile basin countries, after three times of adjourning it in June and after Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni’s repeated attempts for mediation and invitations of presidents to the summit.
In mid-May, the Nile Council of Presidents summit, which the Ugandan president called for, was held in mid-June rather than on 25 May, in Kampala, after a request by Ethiopia.
Ethiopia said that it needed time to study the Egyptian proposal about the Entebbe Agreement. The proposal is consistent with the international agreements and laws that organise relations between countries that share the same river.