Ethiopia's Prime Minister Meles Zenawi and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak signed an agreement on April 17 that would guarantee Cairo full rights over the Blue Nile waters for the next 100 years, Cairo-based Afar Radio has disclosed.
Egypt had in recent years come under fire from mainly East African nations which declared a 1929 pro-Cairo agreement "null and void." But the latest agreement Meles signed with Mubarak leaves the seven upper riparian nations out in the cold, except Sudan, which has joined the new ring comprising Egypt and Ethiopia. This week Mubarak invited Sudanese and Eritrean leaders to Cairo for reconciliation.
Meles Zenawi's concession to Egypt of Ethiopia's vital resource would undoubtedly remain a major setback for any government that would succeed Zenawi's regime, one observer said.
In a recent anti-Cairo rhetoric, Meles had said if Egypt wants to stop Ethiopia from using the Nile waters, it has first to occupy Ethiopia and no country has done that in the past. Observers dismiss the prime minister's unheard of "patriotic feat" as a deceptive move in the run-up to the May 15 elections.
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