Former Egyptian General Intelligence Service Chief Omar Soliman about different topics related to radicalism and security in the middle east and east africa.
Nile Basin Initiatives
US and Israel interest on Nile
Point Four in Ethiopia
The MFA's advisor for African Affairs told he saw little hope in the near future for improvement in the "bad" situation in Sudan, the NILE Basin and Horn of Africa. He said the NILE Basin Initiative (NBI) was on the verge of collapse because the Government of Egypt (GoE) had been unable to sway upper Basin countries to reconsider signing the current version of the Cooperative Framework Agreement (CFA). — According to the advisor, FM Aboul Gheit is concerned about the "future of South Sudan" and wants to work with the USG to manage the situation and period following the January 2011 referendum. He said the current approach on Darfur with meetings in Libya, Chad and Qatar appeared to be "disconnected." — Egypt will begin training 200 Somali troops in the near future at Egyptian military locations, according to the advisor. — The GoE Eritrea has responded "calmly" to the imposition of U.N. sanction, but is concerned that Iran is using Eritrean islands to provide military and logistical support to the Al Howthi in Yemen (reftel D). for details please check the link: http://cablesearch.org/cable/view.php?id=10CAIRO79&hl=Nile
In the wake of Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif's visit to Ethiopia last month, several Egyptian business leaders called for increasing the trade volume between Egypt and Ethiopia, which currently stands at $51 million annually. Mohamed El Menoufy, the chairman of Sixth of October Investors Association, said that increasing trade with Ethiopia was essential to preserving Egypt's national water security, given Ethiopia's location in the NILE Basin. Ambassador Gamal Bayoumy, the Secretary General of the Union of Arab Investors, called for establishing an Egyptian industrial zone in Ethiopia, while Hamed Al Shiaty, the head of the Agricultural Committee in the Egyptian Businessmen Association, voiced support for increasing Egypt's imports of Ethiopian meat and building roads between Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia. For details please check the link: http://cablesearch.org/cable/view.php?id=10CAIRO61&hl=Nile
The Government of Egypt (GoE) believes that recent attempts by upstream NILE Basin countries to set up a NILE River Basin commission to review water issues violates the spirit of "consensus" and past NILE water agreements. — According to Dr. Abdel Fattah Metawie, Chairman of the NILE Water Section in the Egyptian Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation. Egypt has sent a tough message to the upstream countries stating the Egypt will no longer provide development and water assistance to these countries if they continue on their current course. — Egypt believes the other NILE Basin countries should respect Egypt's historical rights to the NILE River waters, decisions should be taken by consensus not voting, and upstream countries must notify and obtain the consent of downstream countries (Egypt and Sudan) for planned projects that could affect the flow of the river. — Egypt would like the U.S. and other donor countries to stress that NILE water rights are a global, regional, and national security issue that must be resolved in the best interests of all countries. Metawie asked the USG to state its support for previous NBI agreements. — The NILE Council of Ministers (NILE COM) will meet in Alexandria, Egypt from July 22-28 to discuss NILE water issues. The Egyptian Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation invited Post to attend some of the conference sessions, and will provide us with a readout of the other meetings. for details please check the link: http://cablesearch.org/cable/view.php?id=09CAIRO1408&hl=Nile
The Nile Basin Initiative (NBI) ministers failed to reach consensus on a Cooperative Framework Agreement (CFA) for water sharing during July 27-28 meetings in Alexandria, but agreed to a Sudanese proposal to continue CFA negotiations for six months. — The seven upstream countries and two downstream countries appear far from agreement. Egypt insists on a "guarantee" of its water quota and upstream countries reject this because they want to increase their use of Nile water to develop agricultural industries. — Numerous meetings between Ethiopian and Egyptian representatives during and subsequent to the conference may signal the possibility for Addis Ababa to play a moderating role between upstream and downstream countries. — A cooperative mood prevailed at the Nile Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) meetings on July 25-26. Many participants hope that the future focus of the NBI will be on technology transfer and benefit-sharing. — The British, Canadian, and UNDP representatives all support the creation of a formal government institution as the best way to manage the NBI process. For details please check the link: http://cablesearch.org/cable/view.php?id=09CAIRO1506&hl=mubarak
The Egyptian Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation is pleased that the Nile Council of Ministers meetings resulted in a six-month extension in negotiations on the Nile Basin Initiative's (NBI) Cooperative Framework Agreement (CFA). — In the next six months, the Government of Egypt (GoE) plans to consult with global legal and institutional experts, offer training courses, begin development projects, and organize technical and legal meetings for the Nile Basin Initiative countries. These efforts will culminate in an extraordinary ministerial meeting, probably in February 2010 at Sharm Al Sheikh. — It appears that Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation Mohamed Nasr Al Din Allam will have responsibility for engaging with the Equatorial Lakes countries, PM Ahmed Nazif will interact with Ethiopia, and Dr. Abdel Fattah Metawie, Chairman of Water Ministry's Nile Water Section, will coordinate with Sudan. — Metawie and Ambassador Mohamed Rafik Khalil, political advisor to the Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation, remain skeptical that an agreement can be reached in six months because the Nile waters issue has been entangled in domestic politics in upstream countries. For details please check the link: http://cablesearch.org/cable/view.php?id=09CAIRO1615&hl=mubarak
Historical Background: (Point Four program in Ethiopia) http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1467-7709.2008.00698.x/pdf
Egypt is a key strategic partner on critical regional issues, most promINently the ISRAELi-PalestINian conflict. Egypt supports a two-state approach but is concerned that negotiations will remaIN stalled due to ISRAELi settlement activity and weakened PalestINian Authority leadership. Currently, Egyptian efforts are focused on brokerINg reconciliation among PalestINian factions, INcludINg Fatah and Hamas, IN a manner that addresses Egyptian security concerns and would allow for an eventual return of the PA to Gaza. Egypt contINues to maINtaIN a low-profile but effective strategic relationship with ISRAEL on security issues, and remaINs concerned about Iran's regional activity, INcludINg IN Lebanon, Yemen and Sudan. Egypt is keenly attuned to the situation IN Sudan, given its strategic INTEREST IN NILE water flows. http://cablesearch.org/cable/view.php?id=09CAIRO2402&hl=Israel+interest+in+Nile
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