By Nourhan Dakroury
Egypt should form a new institution to manage its concerns with Nile basin countries, according to an official of Al-Wasat Party.
Mohamed Abdel Latif, head of the Islamist party’s parliamentary commission, made the announcement during Monday’s Shura Council session, noting that he had previously made the suggestion but the council had not considered it.
“Egyptian-African relations need to be more professional,” according to Abdel Latif.
“All Egyptian authorities need to be represented in one institution, which would be in charge of handling long-term relations with [African countries],” he added.
Abdel Latif also said that he agrees with the popular sentiment that the construction of the dam should be postponed until an agreement is met with Ethiopia.
Aly Al-Hifny, deputy minister of foreign affairs, had said before there has to be coordination between both countries before any steps can be taken towards constructing the dam.
Prime Minister Hesham Qandil talked at the session about what the government is doing about the dam, including developing a new system of water distribution and irrigation, and launching a water conservation campaign.
He also stressed the importance of “mutual confidence” between Egypt and the Nile basin countries.
Abdel Latif asked the council to invite Qandil to a question and answer session at the Shura Council regarding the dam and Egyptian policy toward it.
The construction of the dam has sparked controversy over how it will affect Egypt’s Nile water share, especially after Ethiopia started diverting the Blue Nile on 28 May.
Ethiopian officials have assured Egypt that the dam will not affect its Nile water share.