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Cairo scrambles to restart Entebbe negotiations

The latest developments relating to the Entebbe Agreement underscore the disputes surrounding the controversial pact, such as its importance in terms of guaranteeing Egypt’s right to the Nile water and its impact on international relations.
Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir (C) welcomes Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn (L) at Khartoum Airport, ahead of their signing of an Agreement on Declaration of Principles between Sudan, Egypt and Ethiopia 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.
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CAIRO — June 4 is the scheduled date for the Nile Basin Water Ministers meeting in Arusha, Tanzania, which Egyptians view as Cairo’s last chance to reopen negotiations with Nile basin countries concerning contentious issues relating to the new Entebbe Agreement before its ratification and final implementation. The agreement provides for the establishment of a commission tasked with managing usufruct of the Nile water. The agreement’s entry into force remains dependent upon its ratification by six parliaments of Nile Basin Initiative (NBI) member states.

All NBI member states are expected to attend the meeting in Arusha — Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Sudan and South Sudan — plus Eritrea, which has NBI observer status.

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