Egyptian foreign minister tours Nile basin countries
Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr left Cairo on Monday for a tour of six Nile Basin countries, for economic and political talks including the question of the distribution of water from the Nile River, DPA reported.
Amr begins the trip in Kenya, then will head to Tanzania, Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Sudan and Sudan.
Amr is expected to meet with senior officials to seek consensus among the basin countries sharing the Nile, as Egypt hopes to improve relations with these countries following the ouster of president Hosny Mubarak last year.
Relations became strained in mid-2010 when Ethiopia and Nile Basin countries Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, Kenya and Burundi signed a treaty aimed at increasing their share of water from the Nile River for irrigation and hydropower projects.
The Nile Basin Initiative was to replace a 1929 agreement that allocates the majority of the Nile River's water to Egypt and Sudan.
Water is a matter of national security for Egypt, for which the country depends mainly on the Nile.