Search

 

Cablegate: Egypt Pressing Forward On Nile Basin Initiative

VZCZCXRO7132
RR RUEHHM RUEHLN RUEHMA RUEHPB
DE RUEHEG #7159 3511437
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 171437Z DEC 06
FM AMEMBASSY CAIRO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 2956
INFO RUEHZN/ENVIRONMENT SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 0247
RUEHAE/AMEMBASSY ASMARA 0117
RUEHJB/AMEMBASSY BUJUMBURA 0045
RUEHDR/AMEMBASSY DAR ES SALAAM 0077
RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 0128
RUEHKH/AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM 1083
RUEHLGB/AMEMBASSY KIGALI 0039
RUEHKI/AMEMBASSY KINSHASA 0043
RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 0320

UNCLAS CAIRO 007159

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE FOR NEA/ELA, OES/PCI FOR SALZBERG, NEA/RA FOR LAWSON,
AF/EPS FOR BURNAM, ECA/PE FOR GOMEZ, USAID/ANE FOR WILSON
AMMAN FOR WHITTLESEY

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: SENV PREL KPAO EG ET ER SU BY RW UG TZ KE
SUBJECT: EGYPT PRESSING FORWARD ON NILE BASIN INITIATIVE

REF: STATE 190874

Sensitive but unclassified. Not for internet distribution.

1. (SBU) Summary. The Government of Egypt is a strong
supporter of the Nile Basin Initiative (NBI) as a tool for
cooperative management of water resources and is leading
efforts to finalize a framework agreement. In January, the
GOE will host an NBI council meeting aiming to ratify the
framework agreement, though some issues are pending. GOE
contacts expressed enthusiasm for a multi-country
International Visitors Leadership Program (IVLP) for NBI
countries, modeled after a 2006 Egyptian single country
program. End Summary.

2. (SBU) On December 10, Econoff met with Dr. Abdel Fattah
Metawie, Chairman of the Nile Water Sector at the Ministry of
Water Resources and Irrigation who expressed his strong
belief in the NBI's "ability to bring together people to work
on common issues." Metawie said Egypt intends to host a
high-level meeting in Cairo in mid-January, and is confident
that "the time is ripe" for ratification of the framework
agreement. This meeting, originally scheduled for
mid-December, was pushed back due to scheduling conflicts.
Metawie said riparian countries have been "working together
closely" and "made many compromises" in preparation to ratify
the framework agreement.

3. (SBU) Water ministers from Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia
will meet on December 20 in Khartoum to try to resolve the
issue of "previous agreements," one of two core issues in the
framework agreement. According to Metawie, all riparian
countries, except for Ethiopia, have agreed to the
framework's provisions on how to replace old standing
bilateral and multilateral treaties, an issue which is now
being dubbed "water security." The goal of the Khartoum
meeting is to convince Ethiopia to accept the revised
provisions of water security. The other outstanding issue is
"prior notification," or alerting downstream countries of
changes in the Nile flow. Metawie said that some aspects of
the texts on prior notification are still being negotiated
keeping in mind "how to fulfill the interests of all."

4. (U) In 2006, with the coordination of Dr. Metawie, post
launched a single country International Visitors Leadership
Program (IVLP) to send mid-level Egyptian hydraulic engineers
to the U.S. to visit various water research stations and to
study our water agreements with Mexico and Canada. The
candidates are scheduled to go to the U.S. in February.
Metawie informed us that technical experts from Ethiopia,
Egypt and Sudan recently had a similar successful visit to
West Africa to examine transboundary water issues in the
Senegal River. Metawie enthusiastically supported the idea
of a regional IVLP program for NBI countries, sending two to
three working level NBI engineers from each member country to
the US for a several week IVLP course. Post welcomes
feedback about this idea from both other NBI posts and the
Department.

5. (SBU) Comment: Egypt is clearly committed to the NBI and
is taking an active leadership role in ensuring that the
framework is ratified. While GOE contacts boast about
Egypt's ability to store a substantial amount of Nile water
in Lake Nasser as insurance for reduced flow levels, they
nonetheless recognize the NBI is crucial to ensure a
continuous supply of water to Egypt. End comment.
JONES

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

OECD: COVID-19 Crisis Puts Migration And Progress On Integration At Risk, Says

Watch the live webcast of the press conference Migration flows have increased over the past decade and some progress has been made to improve the integration of immigrants in the host countries. But some of these gains may be erased by the COVID-19 pandemic ... More>>


Pacific Media Watch: How Pacific Environmental Defenders Are Coping With The Covid Pandemic

SPECIAL REPORT: By Sri Krishnamurthi of Pacific Media Watch Pacific Climate Warriors - creative action to trigger better responses to climate crisis. Image: ... More>>

Reporters Without Borders: Julian Assange’s Extradition Hearing Marred By Barriers To Open Justice

After monitoring four weeks of evidence in the US extradition proceedings against Wikileaks publisher Julian Assange, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) reiterates concern regarding the targeting of Assange for his contributions to journalism, and calls ... More>>

OHCHR: Stranded Migrants Need Safe And Dignified Return – UN Migrant Workers Committee

The UN Committee on Migrant Workers has today called on governments to take immediate action to address the inhumane conditions of migrant workers who are stranded in detention camps and ensure they can have an orderly, safe and dignified return to ... More>>