El-Sisi: Renaissance Dam needs binding deal, must preserve Egypt’s rights

Egypt must preserve its water rights by reaching a binding legal agreement on the Ethiopian Renaissance Dam that includes Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi has said. (AFP/File Photo)
Egypt must preserve its water rights by reaching a binding legal agreement on the Ethiopian Renaissance Dam that includes Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi has said. (AFP/File Photo)
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Updated 27 December 2020

El-Sisi: Renaissance Dam needs binding deal, must preserve Egypt’s rights

Egypt must preserve its water rights by reaching a binding legal agreement on the Ethiopian Renaissance Dam that includes Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi has said. (AFP/File Photo)

CAIRO: Egypt must preserve its water rights by reaching a binding legal agreement on the Ethiopian Renaissance Dam that includes Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi has said.

During a phone conversation with South African counterpart Cyril Ramaphosa, El-Sisi made the comments while referring to the development of the dam, which is taking place under the auspices of the African Union, headed by South Africa.

Spokesman for the Egyptian Presidency Bassam Rady said that the Egyptian leader received a call from the South African president.

He said El-Sisi confirmed Egypt’s position on formulating a binding legal agreement that preserves Egyptian water rights and includes the three countries. The agreement should define the rules for filling and operating the dam, as the Nile waters represent an “existential issue” for Egypt and its people, he added.

Ramaphosa praised Egypt’s efforts to reach a solution on the issue.

He also called for coordination during the coming period to work on reaching a fair and balanced agreement.

The Sudanese government announced in mid-December an agreement with Ethiopia to resume negotiations on the disputed dam. It came after Khartoum boycotted negotiation sessions, labeling them an “old approach” that “would not work.” Sudan called for a greater role for experts to contribute to resolving the crisis.

Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan resumed talks headed by the water ministers of the three countries early last month when Sudan took over organization of the meeting.

Ethiopia began construction of the Renaissance Dam on the Blue Nile in 2011, but Egypt fears it will affect its share of water, which amounts to 55.5 billion cubic meters annually, most of it from the Blue Nile.

Despite the signing of a declaration of principles between Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia in March 2015 which encouraged dialogue and negotiation, an agreement on the dam has yet to be reached.


Denmark halts UAE flights for five days over COVID-19

Denmark halts UAE flights for five days over COVID-19
Updated 23 January 2021

Denmark halts UAE flights for five days over COVID-19

Denmark halts UAE flights for five days over COVID-19
  • The statement said the UAE was communicating with Danish authorities “to clarify the details and cases”

COPENHAGEN: The UAE said on Friday it was in talks with Denmark after the Nordic country temporarily halted all flights arriving from the Gulf Arab state, a major travel hub, due to potentially unreliable coronavirus tests in Dubai.

Denmark’s transport ministry said the five-day travel restrictions, comes after concerns were raised about the coronavirus tests administered in Dubai before departure. It added it had taken the decision after a detailed tip-off, without elaborating.
“All accredited UAE testing centers are regularly subject to strict quality checks,” the UAE foreign ministry said, adding there are severe penalties for non-compliance with international standards to ensure the highest level of quality in testing.
The statement said the UAE was communicating with Danish authorities “to clarify the details and cases” behind the decision in order to guarantee the safety of all travelers.
Denmark earlier this month made it mandatory for travelers to show a negative test from the previous 24 hours before departure toward Denmark from all countries.
Late on Friday, Danish Health Minister Magnus Heunicke said on Twitter 50 persons with COVID-19 had flown in from Dubai in January alone. 33 of those arrived after Denmark made it mandatory to test negative for COVID-19 before departure.
Several Danish celebrities, including former footballer Nicklas Bendtner, were criticized earlier this month after Danish media reported they had traveled to regional tourism hub Dubai on holiday despite the government advising against going abroad to limit the spread of the coronavirus.