Azhar imam urges int’l community to support Egyptian water rights, says backing political leadership’s endeavors indisputable duty



Wed, 07 Jul 2021 - 09:29 GMT


Wed, 07 Jul 2021 - 09:29 GMT

FILE - Al-Azhar Grand Imam Sheikh Ahmed Al Tayyeb – Reuters

FILE - Al-Azhar Grand Imam Sheikh Ahmed Al Tayyeb – Reuters

CAIRO – 7 July 2021: Al-Azhar Grand Imam Ahmed El-Tayyeb reiterated his support to the water rights of Egypt and Sudan, urging the international, African, Arab and Islamic communities to shoulder their responsibilities in supporting the two countries in preserving their water rights in Nile River.

In a statement, Tayyeb also urged these communities to support the two downstream countries against some claims of ownership of the river and acting unilaterally in a way that harms the lives of the two countries’ peoples.

He affirmed that supporting the Egyptian leadership’s endeavors is an indisputable duty.

Tayyeb said all religions agree that the ownership of the resources necessary for people’s lives, including the rivers, is a public property.

The grand imam said it is not right under any circumstances to leave these resources to an individual, or individuals, or a state to use them alone without the rest of the states participating in this.

Ethiopia on Monday sent separate letters to Egypt and Sudan, notifying the two countries that it started the second phase of filling its Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), although an agreement on the filling and operation of the massive dam has not yet been reached.

Egypt and Sudan voiced categorical rejection of the Ethiopian step as their foreign ministers prepare to attend a UNSC session on the GERD dispute scheduled for Thursday.

Egypt’s Irrigation Minister Mohamed Abdel Ati sent an official letter to his Ethiopian counterpart, Seleshi Bekele, voicing Egypt’s categorical rejection of Ethiopia’s unilateral act, a statement by the Egyptian irrigation ministry spokesman read.

Abdel Ati said this act represents a clear and dangerous violation of the 2015 Declaration of Principles signed by the three countries.

The Ethiopian step is also a violation of the international laws and norms that regulate the projects based on the mutual basins and international rivers, including the Nile River, the statement read.

The Egyptian minister affirmed that there are agreement and charters that regulate the exploitation of the Nile River resources, noting that these agreements oblige Ethiopia to respect the Egyptian water rights and interests, the statement added.

The spokesman added that this “dangerous update uncovers again Ethiopia’s bad intentions and insistence to take unilateral procedures to impose the fait accomplice and fill and operate the Renaissance Dam without an agreement that takes into consideration the interests of the three countries and limits this dam’s harm on the two downstream countries.”

The spokesman added that this Ethiopian step will “exacerbate the state of crisis and tension in the region and will lead to the creation of a situation that endangers security and peace on the regional and international levels.

The Egyptian Foreign Ministry re-sent the letter of Abdel Ati to the chief of the United Nations Security Council to brief the council on this “dangerous” update in light of the council’s planned session on GERD on Thursday, the statement read.

Egypt and Sudan have reiterated rejection of the second filling of GERD, which Ethiopia builds on the Blue Nile, unless the three countries reach a legally-binding agreement on the dam.

Ethiopia has reiterated its plans to implement the second phase of filling in July and through the rainy season whether a deal is reached or not.

Rounds of African Union-sponsored talks have collapsed with Egypt and Sudan blaming the collapse of negotiations on Ethiopia’s intransigence.



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