Egyptians’ right does not mean it is not the right for other Nile basin countries: Ambassador

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Addis Ababa, 6 February 2014 (WIC) - Forty five young diplomats from the Foreign Ministry of Egypt are on a five-day visit to Ethiopia beginning February 3, 2014 as part of their visit to different African countries.

The team is led by Egypt Diplomatic Institute Head Ambassador Alaa El-Hadeey.

The ambassador said that the visit would help the young diplomats to have a better knowledge about Ethiopia and other African countries.

The Ethiopian Herald has approached Egyptian Ambassador to Ethiopia Mohammed Idiris for his comment on Nile issue.

Responding to the question as to why the Egyptian delegation to the recent Khartoum tripartite meeting raised a new agenda of establishing third party international panel of experts which was out of the agenda of the meeting, the ambassador said there exist agreements and disagreements in course of diplomacy. The Khartoum meeting was held to discuss recommendation and implementation of the international panel of experts.

“There are aspects that are agreed upon already and there are aspects that need agreement yet. I am sure Ethiopia has no intentions to harm Egypt and Egypt also need the development of Ethiopia. Further talks are, therefore, important,” the Ambassador added.

To the question whether article 44 of the new Egyptian constitution which declares 'Nile and the Water as national wealth of Egypt', closes the door of diplomacy or underestimate the natural right of Nile basin countries or not, he said: “The right for Egyptians does not mean it is not the right for other Nile basin countries.”

“It should not be interpreted out of context. Ninety five per cent of Nile is lost while only five per cent is utilized. So, we need Nile to be a source of win-win development for the whole African Nile basin countries,” Ambassador Mohammed said.

He also said that the media in both countries should work responsibly and with right information as dissemination of wrong information would have debilitating effect on the relations between the two countries.

The young diplomats said that the bilateral relation between the two countries is historical and longstanding which should be upheld in the economic, political and other aspects. (EH)