Arab parliament voices support for Egypt, Sudan over Nile dam dispute

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CAIRO, March 31 (Xinhua) — The Arab Parliament (AP) on Wednesday voiced full support and solidarity for Egypt and Sudan in ensuring their legitimate share in the Nile River water.

The AP said in a statement that “it supports any efforts that contribute in settling the crisis via reaching a legally binding agreement on the filling and operation of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) in a way that preserves the interest of all parties and maintain the economic and water rights of the Nile downstream countries based on the international laws.”

The statement stressed Egypt and Sudan are basic pillars for the Arab national security, and their water security is an indispensable part of the Arab national security.

Many collective positive solutions could prevent impacts of the dam dispute on the regional security and stability, it added.

Ethiopia started building the GERD in 2011, while Egypt is concerned it might affect its 55.5-billion-cubic-meter annual share of the Nile water. Sudan has recently been raising similar concerns over the 4-billion-U.S.-dollar dam.

Over the past few years, tripartite talks on the rules of filling and operating the giant hydropower dam, whose total capacity is 74 billion cubic meters, have been fruitless.

On Tuesday, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi urged for a legally binding agreement on the filling and operation of the dam. Saudi Arabia, Oman and Bahrain expressed their solidarity with Egypt’s efforts to resolve the dispute on the same day.

The United Arab Emirates on Wednesday confirmed the diplomatic dialogue and fruitful negotiations for overcoming the disputes among the three countries.

Sudan called for the formation of an international quartet committee of the African Union, the United States, the European Union and the United Nations as the mediator.

Ambassador of Ethiopia in Cairo said on Wednesday his country hasn’t received an official request from Sudan about the quartet committee, adding his country welcomes resuming the negotiations. Enditem

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