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Minister of Irrigation: Renaissance Dam Hoped to be Means of Cooperation 

The Minister of Irrigation and Water Resources, Prof. Yasser Abbas, has expressed his hope that the Renaissance Dam is to be a means of regional cooperation rather than a source of political conflict between the three countries.

In a press statement, he said that today (February 22) coincides with the declaration announced in Tanzania in the year 1999 through which all the 11 Nile Basin countries have underscored importance of the Nile River which shall be a source of cooperation, development and prosperity for these countries.

He said that this year’s slogan is to rethink regional investments in the Nile Basin, indicating that the percentage of projects in the region is below the aspiration during the past 20 years.

He explained that there are many projects such as electrical interconnection, river navigation and construction of reservoirs, as well as agricultural and fisheries projects that were not implemented and below the ambition.

  He pointed out that this year’s slogan necessitates rethinking about ways for implementing these development projects and cooperation between the Nile Basin countries, referring to the stalemate of the Renaissance Dam negotiations during the past weeks after the stoppage of meetings in last January and the increase in tension between the three countries.

 The minister expressed his hope that these countries will seriously consider the basic philosophy of the Renaissance Dam, which calls for regional cooperation and electricity generation from Ethiopia. increasing the agricultural production and food security from Sudan and industry from Egypt.

 As for, Prof. Abbas said that the trend of Ethiopia to fill the Renaissance Dam next July poses a direct threat to the operation of the Rosseires Dam, and consequently all irrigation projects and drinking and irrigation water stations in the Blue Nile up to Atbara city, adding that around 20 million people in Sudan are threatened by this filling.

 He hoped that an agreement would be achieved before the first filling will be reached, considering this filling as a serious threat to the Sudanese national security.

Prof. Abbas stated that there are several precautions to confront the filling of the Renaissance Dam, represented in the technical and diplomatic precautions, as Sudan has moved these days with great activity to boost the mediation of the African Union and the introduction of the United Nations, the European Union and the United States to play the role of mediators.

He said that Sudan will work hard in these days in diplomatic and political contacts with Congo, the new president of the African Union, so that these organizations are to carry out a quartet mediation in the Renaissance Dam’s file.

MO

Source : Suna

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