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Egypt warily signs preliminary Nile agreement

While showing some optimism about the Declaration of Principles it recently signed with Sudan and Ethiopia, Egypt is proceeding with caution concerning its historical water rights.
Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir (C) shakes hands with his Egypian counterpart Abdel Fattah al-sisi and Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn after signing an Agreement on the Declaration of Principles on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam Project in Khartoum March 23, 2015. The leaders of Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan signed a cooperation deal on Monday over a giant Ethiopian hydroelectric dam on a tributary of the river Nile, in a bid to ease tensions over regional water supplies. The leaders
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CAIRO — Since the presidents of the Eastern Nile countries of Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia signed the Declaration of Principles of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam on March 23, relative official and public acceptance have prevailed in Egypt. After a long historical feud over the Nile waters that Egypt considers part of its national security, Ethiopia and Egypt are trying to rebuild trust.

The international community supports this declaration as the first step toward consensus and cooperation to resolve the dispute over the management of the Nile waters, including such issues as building dams in upstream countries and compromising water usage to achieve water security in all affected areas. However, the parties concerned with this issue are still conflicted over implementing the declaration's principles. The official meetings of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, his Sudanese counterpart Omar al-Bashir and Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn concluded without an agreement on a timeframe or a plan to negotiate an international legal agreement.

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