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Agreement on Nile River

The 2015 agreement between Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan – with Sudan as mediator – represents a significant but predictable shift in Cairo`s approach to the Nile – that these colonial agreements are not viable. About 85 percent of the water that flows into the Nile comes from the Ethiopian highlands across the Blue Nile; the rest comes from the White Nile. It was simply unrealistic and untenable for Egypt to believe that it could continue to prevent Ethiopia from using water resources within its borders to meet the needs of its people. While it is true that Egyptians are completely dependent on the waters of the Nile for all their needs, they must be sensitive to the development needs of the upstream riparian states, especially since the latter, especially Ethiopia, are able to cause significant damage to the quantity and quality of water flowing into the Nile. Therefore, the practical and more accommodating position of the Egyptian leadership in their decision to support the Addis Ababa Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERDP) project should be welcomed. However, Cairo must go further and sign and ratify the CFA without insisting on amendments to Article 14(b) to guarantee Egypt the rights created by the Nile water agreements. With the FCA, the 11 riparian states can negotiate in good faith to agree on an allocation formula acceptable to all and considered fair, just and appropriate. As Africa is increasingly affected by climate change, different groups on the continent must agree to work together to develop institutional structures that can improve their ability to live together peacefully and allocate their natural resources, including water, equitably and sustainably. But the Balagh, the spokesman for the Wafd, as the party that is now in opposition is called, saw it quite differently and published a lengthy criticism of the deal on May 18. Parliament did not sit at the time the agreement was signed, so there is no authoritative way to say what the Fellahs think about the issue. However, an unbiased analysis seems to show that the agreement, whether perfect or imperfect, takes a significant step forward in creating healthy Anglo-Egyptian relations and records a net gain for Egypt.

The Egyptian prime minister`s letter indicates how much water Sudan can be allowed to remove. It also determines how and where this quantity is recorded. Criticism of the Wafd tackles these last details. He argues that they go against the spirit of the agreement. No attempt is made here to convey the controversy presented in this way. Its practical solution will depend largely on the good faith with which the agreement enters into force. In the light of current knowledge, this good faith should be presumed. It does not appear from this correspondence that the so-called development of «Gezira» in Sudan has been stopped. What the agreement emphasizes is that the Black Country must subordinate its demands to those of Egypt. The latter country has the right to satisfy its needs from the «expropriated» waters of the Nile. It is believed that there will be a surplus that will allow Gezira Plantations Company to implement its plans. But the risk lies with them.

Finally, I would like to remind Your Excellency that Her Majesty`s Government in the United Kingdom has already recognized Egypt`s natural and historical rights in the waters of the Nile. I wish to state that Her Majesty`s Government in the United Kingdom regards the protection of these rights as a fundamental principle of British policy and to give Your Excellency the most positive assurance that this principle and the detailed provisions of this Agreement will be respected at all times and under any conditions that may arise. The Egyptian Gazette of May 9, 1929 published the text of an agreement on the long-debated issue of the use of Nile water. The agreement, which on the one hand recognizes that Sudan needs more During the race to Africa, control of the source of the Nile was a major colonial goal of the British. To this end, various agreements, including the Nile Treaties, have been concluded. So it is clear that while the world as a whole will applaud the state spirit that assured the Egyptian Fellah that the Nile will remain its river in the first place and that this stream will be primarily intended to make its fields productive, the colony in no way sets a precedent for Colorado or other problems. Political considerations have forced Sudan to subordinate its interests to those of Egypt. The great legal problem that means so much to irrigation experts in the Western world has not been reconciled by the Nile Water Agreement.

But Egypt`s difficulties have been overcome, at least for now. And that, not the creation of a global precedent, was the task facing London and Cairo. .

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