World Bulletin / News Desk
Tanzania has called for a review of the 2010 Comprehensive Framework Agreement signed by upstream Nile Basin countries and known as the Entebbe agreement, to take into considerations the water needs of Egypt.
"Tanzania feels that the chapter providing equal and fair share of the natural resources of the Nile to all states ought to be reviewed in favor of Egypt considering that it is a desert country whose lifeline is the Nile," Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Bernard Kamillius Membe said in a written document submitted to the parliament on Monday.
In 2010, the upstream states of Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania signed a Cooperative Framework Agreement to seek more water from the River Nile. Burundi inked the agreement in 2011.
The deal aimed to replace a colonial-era treaty that gives Egypt and Sudan the lion's share of river water.
The Tanzanian government has not yet submitted the agreement to parliament for ratification.
Minister Membe said his country believes there is an obligation to think about the population of Egypt, which he described as a desert country that has no river, underground waters or sufficient rain fall.
"To Egypt the River Nile is life that is why we are asking ourselves if it is right to demand for equal use of waters from the river to all states," he told the parliament.
The top diplomat said his country hopes all the countries of the Nile Basin would have a chance to sit down and look at the 2010 agreement.
"Tanzania is expecting to call for an international meeting for all Nile Basin riparian states to review the agreement by taking into consideration the importance of Nile waters in Egypt’s economic and social needs," Membe said.
The meeting, for which the foreign minister gave no specific date, will be attended by foreign ministers as well as minister dealing with water issues.
Responding to a question by MP Amina Mohammed Mwidau, the minister denied that the current political situation in Egypt has had any impact on Tanzania's economy.
He added that his ministry and that of tourism and natural resources had done more to increase business between these Tanzania and Egypt.
During that time, the EgyptAir has increased its trips to Tanzania by adding another route between Dar es Salaam and the Egyptian capital Cairo.
Membe said during the 2012/2013 financial year, EgyptAir brought more than 13,000 tourists to Tanzania tourist attractions.
"This is an indicator that things are going well," he added.
Egyptian Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab visited Tanzania in April to attend the anniversary of the unification of Tanganyika and Zanzibar, which yielded the republic of Tanzania 50 years ago.
He held talks with senior Tanzanian officials.Last Mod: 27 Mayıs 2014, 09:58