Egypt committed to supporting development in Nile Basin states, says minister

Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation Hussein al-Atfi said on Sunday that Egypt was committed to supporting the development process in the Nile Basin states so long as it does not adversely affect Egypt's water supplies.

At a symposium held at the Supreme Council of Culture, which was attended by Culture Minister Emad Abu Ghazi and over 30 African and Asian ambassadors, Atfi said that Essam Sharaf’s cabinet was keen to expand Egyptian investments in the Nile Basin states.

During the symposium, titled “Cooperation with Nile Basin States and Future Prospects”, Atfi reviewed the development of cooperation between Egypt and the Nile Basin countries since the mid-sixties up until the establishment of the Nile Basin Initiative, the current mechanism for cooperation among Nile Basin countries. The initiative is aimed at the sharing of Nile water to achieve water security and avert conflicts over water resources.

At the end of the symposium, the ambassadors of Romania, Switzerland, Turkey, Tanzania, Equatorial Guinea, and India offered assistance in the areas of technical and legal expertise, and in the conduct of negotiations.

Atfy said that with the cooperation of Sudan, Egypt was working hard to find solutions to various disputes, and that solutions put forward by various Nile Basin countries were also being considered.

Atfi pointed out that the Culture Ministry would be increasing the number of festivals and cultural events exchanged between Egypt and Nile Basin states. Culture Minister Emad Abu Ghazi said that in January, a festival would be organized in Luxor, revolving around the cultural relations between Egypt and Africa, with a focus on the Nile Basin.

Translated from the Arabic Edition

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