Libya’s Qaddafi offers mediation on Nile crisis

Al-Masry Al-Youm has learned that Egypt and Libya are discussing a proposal by Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi to mediate in the current Nile water crisis between Egypt and Sudan on the one hand, and upstream Nile Basin states on the other.

Sources said that Qaddafi’s intervention represented a bid to bring the disputing parties back to negotiations, resolve outstanding issues and prepare for the establishment of a high commission for basin countries.

In an attempt to ease the tense atmosphere, Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak sent a message of congratulations to Ethiopian cabinet minister Meles Zenawi, who was re-elected Prime Minister on Sunday. Mubarak is expected to hold extensive meetings with Nile Basin leaders next Monday on the sidelines of the French-African summit.

Informed Ethiopian sources told Al-Masry Al-Youm that their country never sought to deprive Egypt of Nile water. They emphasized that Addis Ababa was merely seeking a new agreement on water sharing that would serve the interests of all nations concerned.

In a related development, Danish ambassador to Egypt Christian Hope voiced his disappointment with the basin states for their recent decision to sign an agreement that did not include Egypt or Sudan. He expressed his country’s hope that talks would soon be restarted.

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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