Egypt taking ‘covert action’ to resolve Nile crisis, says FM

In press statements on Sunday, Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul-Gheit said Egypt was taking “covert action” to resolve the ongoing Nile water crisis. “Our actions will soon be revealed,” he said.

“My meetings with the Ethiopian prime minister and foreign minister at the recent France-Africa summit were quite positive,” the minister said, adding that he had also met with the president of the World Bank, who told him that a World Bank delegation may soon be dispatched to Cairo to help resolve the issue.

Agriculture Minister Amin Abaza, meanwhile, stressed that Egypt’s traditional quota of Nile water “would not be affected” by the ongoing disagreement with upstream Nile Basin states.

“We still have a chance to renegotiate the matter,” he said. “And Arab investment in Egyptian agricultural projects won’t be affected either, since these rely on subterranean water for irrigation.”

In a related development, residents of Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula formally complained to Abaza that the government was refusing to allow them to dig wells with which to irrigate some 3000 acres of land and that Israel was surreptitiously taking subterranean water from Egyptian territory.

“I’m sure the Ministry of Irrigation has its reasons for not granting official permits for the wells,” Abaza reportedly told Sinai residents. “This has nothing to do with allegations that Israel is stealing our water.”

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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