Egypt and DRC discuss Nile water distribution

Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit and Raymond Tshibanda, Congolese Minister of International Cooperation, on Tuesday met to discuss Nile-sharing issues and Egyptian developmental assistance to the Central African nation.

Both leaders stressed the need to resume embattled negotiations on Nile water distribution.

Hossam Zaki, Foreign Ministry official spokesperson, said in a statement on Tuesday the two officials hashed out efforts to support stability in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) through Egyptian forces participating in the UN peacekeeping operation in the rural and largely lawless nation.

The leaders also discussed Egyptian-sponsored projects aimed at training and dispatching experts to improve Congolese capacities in the fields of health, energy, agriculture and disaster reduction.

Analysts say Cairo is enhancing relationships with the DRC to prevent it from joining the Entebbe agreement on Nile water-redistribution, signed in April by five of Nile basin countries (Ethiopia, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Kenya). Egypt and Sudan, who claim the lion's share of Nile flow dating back to colonial agreements, have criticized the accord.

Egypt says it will not accept Nile-sharing agreements that disregard its historical rights.

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