Abu Dhabi: Saudi Arabia said Tuesday that the water security of Egypt and Sudan is an “integral part” of Arab national security.
The remarks come as Ethiopia threatens to start filling a reservoir on the Blue Nile that many claim will cut vital water supplies to the two countries downstream.
The Saudi Cabinet said during a meeting that the Kingdom stands with Egypt and Sudan to preserve their rights to the Nile and ensure their water security.
Saudi Arabia rejected any measure that would affect the rights of all parties along the Nile waters, stressing the need to resume negotiations to reach a fair agreement that takes into account the interests of everyone concerned.
Bahrain also expressed its solidarity with Egypt in preserving its water security, protecting the interests of its people and its legitimate right to life, and its sincere efforts to achieve peace and regional stability.
Bahrain’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs affirmed its support for the efforts made to solve the crisis of filling and operating the Grand Ethiopian Reconnaissance Dam (GERD), in a way that preserves the water and economic rights of the Nile River countries in accordance with international laws, and that allows all the Nile Basin countries to achieve their ambitions for development and economic growth, to preserve security, peace and stability in the region.
Egypt is seeking to prevent Ethiopia from starting to fill its massive, newly built hydroelectric dam on the Blue Nile next month without an agreement regulating how the dam will be filled and operated.
Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia have held a series of on-and-off talks for about a decade to end the row over GERD, without making headway so far.
Egyptian officials have repeatedly blamed Addis Ababa for the deadlock in GERD talks.
The Ethiopian dam has triggered wide fears in Egypt, which relies heavily on the Nile to cover the water needs of its population of over 100 million people.
Ethiopia has denied Egyptians’ worries and defended its construction of the 5-billion-dollar dam as being vital for its development and lifting its population of around 107 million out of poverty.