El-Sisi: Egyptian water rights are ‘national security issue’

It is not the first time that El-Sisi has described the water issue as a national security issue. (AFP)
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Updated 06 October 2020

El-Sisi: Egyptian water rights are ‘national security issue’

  • Meeting with Kenyan leader zeroes in on development, Renaissance Dam

CAIRO: Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi has described Nile water as a “national security issue” and urged the signing of an agreement on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam.

His comments came during a meeting with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta on Sunday at the Federal Palace in Cairo. Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry and the director of Egyptian General Intelligence Abbas Kamel were also present during the talks.

“The meeting touched on the latest regional developments of mutual interest, especially with regard to the issue of the Renaissance Dam, as it was agreed to intensify coordination between the two countries during the coming period on this sensitive and vital issue,” a spokesperson for the president said.

“The utmost importance of the water issue for the Egyptian people, as it is a matter of national security, will mean Egypt adheres to water rights by reaching a legal agreement that guarantees clear rules for the process of filling and operating the dam, and achieving the common interests of all parties,” they added.

It is not the first time that El-Sisi has described the water issue as a national security issue. During a recent phone call with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson he also repeated the phrase.

His spokesman said the president also expressed Egypt’s keenness to strengthen relations and consolidate strategic cooperation with Kenya in various fields.

El-Sisi said that Egypt wants to provide Kenya development experience in major national projects, especially infrastructure, housing, utilities and roads, through specialized companies that have expertise in the industries.

President Kenyatta said Kenya was keen to develop bilateral cooperation with Egypt and seek the help of Egyptian companies, especially in light of the Kenya National Development Plan. He added that health care, low-cost housing, industrialization and food security are all important priorities for the country.
 


Saad Hariri named new Lebanon PM, promises reform cabinet

Updated 22 October 2020

Saad Hariri named new Lebanon PM, promises reform cabinet

  • Hariri immediately promised a government of technocrats committed to a French-backed reform plan
  • He has previously led three governments in Lebanon

BEIRUT: Three-time Lebanese prime minister Saad Hariri was named to the post for a fourth time Thursday and immediately promised a government of technocrats committed to a French-backed reform plan.
Hariri said he would “form a cabinet of non politically aligned experts with the mission of economic, financial and administrative reforms contained in the French initiative roadmap.”
“I will work on forming a government quickly because time is running out and this is the only and last chance facing our country,” he added.
President Michel Aoun named Hariri to form a new cabinet to lift the country out of crisis after most parliamentary blocs backed his nomination.
Hariri, who has previously led three governments in Lebanon, stepped down almost a year ago under pressure from unprecedented protests against the political class.
“The president summoned... Saad Al-Deen Al-Hariri to task him with forming a government,” a spokesman for the presidency said.
Hariri was backed by a majority of 65 lawmakers, while 53 abstained.
Lebanon is grappling with its worst economic crisis in decades and still reeling from a devastating port blast that killed more than 200 people and ravaged large parts of Beirut in August.
Aoun warned Wednesday that the new prime minister, the third in a year, would have to spearhead reforms and battle corruption.
A relatively unknown diplomat, Mustapha Adib, had been nominated in late August following the resignation of his predecessor Hassan Diab’s government in the aftermath of the deadly port blast.
Adib had vowed to form a cabinet of experts, in line with conditions set by French President Emmanuel Macron to help rescue the corruption-ridden country from its worst ever economic crisis.
He faced resistance from some of the main parties however and threw in the towel nearly a month later, leaving Lebanon rudderless to face soaring poverty and the aftermath of its worst peacetime disaster.