World Bulletin/News Desk
If it is invited, Burundi is ready to attend a meeting – which has been proposed by Tanzania – to review a 2010 Comprehensive Framework Agreement signed by upstream Nile Basin countries, known as the Entebbe Agreement.
"We will not shun away from the meeting if Tanzania invites us," government spokesman Philippe Nzobonariba told Anadolu Agency.
"But the position Burundi takes will depend on consultations with all stakeholders," the spokesman said.
Tanzania has called for a review of the 2010 treaty in order to consider Egypt's water needs.
"Tanzania feels that the chapter [of the agreement] providing [an] equal and fair share of the natural resources of the Nile… ought to be reviewed in favor of Egypt, considering that it is a desert country whose lifeline is the Nile," Bernard Kamillius Membe, minister of foreign affairs and international cooperation, said in a written document submitted to parliament on Monday.
In 2010, upstream states Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania all signed the Cooperative Framework Agreement regulating Nile water use. Burundi signed on to the treaty in 2011.
The deal aimed to replace a colonial-era treaty that gives Egypt and Sudan the lion's share of river water.
Minister Membe said his country felt an obligation to consider the vast population of Egypt, which he described as a desert country lacking any underground water or rainfall.
Tanzania, he said, would call for a meeting of all Nile Basin states to review the 2011 agreement.
The meeting will be attended by foreign ministers and ministers dealing with water issues.
Nzobonariba told AA that the Burundi government would take a position on the issue in due course if consulted.
"We are all beneficiaries of that river [the Nile]; no party should feel disadvantaged or frustrated," he said.
Nzobonariba also stressed that "the interests of all parties must be safeguarded."
Burundi claims to be the source of the Nile and one of its chief tourist attractions is the Nile pyramid in Rutovu in the south of the country.
Burundi and Egypt have inked cooperation agreements in various fields, including education and health.Last Mod: 31 Mayıs 2014, 12:24