The Egyptian President, Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, confirmed yesterday that his country’s share of the Nile River water is “untouchable because it is a red line”, warning of the repercussions of this on stability in the region, in his comment on the developments in the negotiations of the Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, which Cairo fears will affect its share of The waters of the Nile River.
Al-Sisi said: “We do not threaten anyone, but no one can take a drop of water from Egypt, otherwise the region will witness a state of instability that no one can imagine.”
The Egyptian president stated decisively that “no one imagines that he is far from our ability. “The waters of Egypt are untouchable, and touching them is a red line. Our response, if touched, will affect the stability of the entire region.”
He said: “Negotiation is our choice that we started with, and the hostile action is ugly, and it has effects that extend for many years, because people do not forget this.”
Al-Sisi’s statements came during a press conference held at a center of the Suez Canal Authority in Ismailia Governorate, after the floatation of the huge container ship that closed the waterway for six days.
Since 2011, Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia have been negotiating to reach an agreement on filling the Renaissance Dam, which Addis Ababa is building, and Cairo and Khartoum fear its effects on them. The three countries failed to reach an agreement.
Al-Sisi announced yesterday that, “During the next few weeks, there will be additional movement on this issue, and we hope to reach a legally binding agreement regarding the filling and operation of the dam.”
And last week, the Ethiopian Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed, told members of parliament in Addis Ababa that there was “no intention” to harm Egypt through the dam.
He explained, “What Ethiopia wants is to benefit from it without harming them,” noting that “what I want our brothers (in Egypt and Sudan) to understand is that we do not want to live in the dark.” We need a lamp. The light will not harm them, but rather it will extend to them. ”
A spokesman for the Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Dina Mufti, said in press statements in Addis Ababa yesterday, that “Ethiopia remains committed to the trilateral talks in which the African Union is participating, and this message was conveyed during a recent meeting with Washington’s special envoy to Sudan, Donald Booth.”
“Ethiopia believes that African problems can be solved by the Africans themselves,” he added. We respect the African wisdom, and the current negotiations under the auspices of the African Union, and we hope that they will succeed ».
In another matter, Sisi pledged to purchase all the equipment needed by the Suez Canal to face the emergency crises, after the floatation of the huge container ship that closed the waterway for six days.
He said, “It is extremely important to provide any equipment and supplies that are continuously in place to contribute to the authority’s capacity and to meet its demands in light of the movement of ship development.”
For his part, the head of the Suez Canal Authority, Osama Rabie, referred to the plan to provide locomotives with a tensile strength of 250 and 300 tons, as Egypt’s current locomotives have a tensile strength of 160 tons.
“A Chinese company has been contracted for five locomotives,” he said. “Two are being built in China, and three are in our arsenals here.”
Rabie announced in a statement on Monday: “The resumption of navigation traffic in the Suez Canal, after the Authority’s success in its ability to rescue and float the container ship Evergiven.”
On March 23, the container ship “MV Evergiven” ran aground, stopped in the width of the Suez Canal, and closed it completely, disrupting navigation in both directions.
The ship, 400 meters long, 59 meters wide, and with a gross tonnage of 224,000 tons, was on a voyage from China to Rotterdam in the Netherlands.
The disruption of navigation led to traffic congestion in the canal, the formation of a long queue of more than 420 ships, and severe delays in the deliveries of oil and other products.
Yesterday morning, some ships sailing in the canal appeared on the canal, with a size similar to the Evergiven ship, in what appeared to be a sign of a return to normal.
Rabie said that the process of floating the ship, without resorting to unloading its cargo, is “a precedent that has not happened before in the world, given the size and tonnage of the ship.”
Yesterday, Rabei, expected that it would take “three or four days at the most” for the ships waiting at the entrances to the Suez Canal to cross.
“We did not wish that something like this would happen,” Sisi said at the conference. But he drew attention to the great importance of a reality more than 150 years ago, which is that the Suez Canal was rooted in the conscience of the global trade industry.
Addressing the authority’s workers and men, Sisi said: “In light of what is being said about alternative methods. I tell you that about 12 or 13% of the world trade you have is here. ”
For his part, Rabei estimated the daily losses of the Suez Canal due to the disruption of navigation at between 12 and 14 million dollars. About 19,000 ships crossed the Suez Canal in 2020.
Israel reopens the Taba border crossing with Egypt
Yesterday, Israel reopened the Taba border crossing with Egypt, after it had been closed since the beginning of the spread of the “Covid-19” pandemic, which allowed a limited number to cross to the Sinai Peninsula, to spend the Jewish Passover holiday.
This step is the latest towards a return to normal life in Israel, which has vaccinated more than half of its population of 9.2 million people against the Corona virus, which is the fastest per capita vaccination rate in the world.
From yesterday to April 12, 300 Israelis will be able to cross through Taba to head to the Red Sea every day.
Among the conditions of transit is that the traveler possesses a vaccination certificate or the so-called “green pass”, or a certificate of recovery from infection with the virus, in addition to a negative result of the “Corona” test less than 48 hours before in both directions.
On the other hand, the Counter-Terrorism Authority warned the Israelis of global terrorist threats during the spring and summer of 2021, and it specifically mentioned Egypt and Sinai.
“In the wake of the decrease in the number of (Corona) patients, the volume of tourism outside the country is expected to increase significantly in the coming months,” she said in a statement published by the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office, Benjamin Netanyahu.
Occupied Jerusalem – AFP
– Al-Sisi asserts that “negotiation is our choice that we started with, and the hostile action is ugly, and it has effects that extend for many years.”
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