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Sisi looks to Africa to boost Egypt's standing in Nile dam dispute

Egypt is shifting its strategy toward African countries, with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi making an African tour to revive interaction on security matters.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi inspects a guard of honour upon arriving at the Julius Nyerere International Airport in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania August 14, 2017. REUTERS/Emmanuel Herman - RTS1BQZO
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CAIRO — With the objective of advancing his country's interests in the African continent, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi paid visits to Tanzania, Rwanda, Chad and Gabon on Aug. 14-17. The agenda included issues related to Egyptian national security, most prominently the Nile water dossier, and the military and technical support in countering terrorism in West Africa.

Sisi's visits carried messages from the Egyptian political administration, most notably among them that Egypt intends to provide Chad and Gabon with immeasurable military and security support, in terms of capacity building and export of military equipment. This is in addition to Egypt’s desire to address the water issue indirectly by prompting the upstream countries to resort to other energy sources, such as wind energy and solar energy, instead of the Nile waters to generate electricity. The president also expressed the Egyptian desire that the Nile waters be used without causing harm to Egyptian interests, stressing that in the eyes of Egypt, the Nile water issue is a matter of life or death that requires the dispute to be resolved.

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