Egypt will not endorse mediation over the Entebbe agreement, said Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation Mohamed Bahaa ElDin.
South Sudan, the most recent member state of the Nile Basin Initiative, will host a ministerial meeting in Juba at the end of June. Bahaa ElDin indicated that some of the Nile Basin states and the European Union have considered mediation between different countries on the Entebbe agreement, something the minister said Egypt rejected.
Spokesperson for the ministry Khaled Wasif said the Entebbe agreement represented only consensus among some downstream nations, and was against the interests of Egypt and Sudan.
“[Entebbe signatories] don’t want mediation. They just want us to sign the agreement,” he said.
Nile Basin countries continue to be split over the Entebbe Agreement. Bahaa ElDin in January said that Egypt would not sign the agreement, noting that it was not suitable for downstream countries, including Egypt.
Bahaa ElDin had previously said that Egypt does not oppose the establishment of development projects along the Nile if they do not affect water distribution. His comments were made in reference to the construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam.
Egypt utilises more Nile water than any other country, using 5.5 billion cubic metres of water annually, but future actions taken by upstream nations could negatively affect Egypt’s water resources.
Minister of Defence Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi rejected the idea of using military force to resolve water issues, saying that Egypt would look for a peaceful resolution to differences while moving forward.