El Sisi in South Sudan: Nile can be source of co-operation

Egypt's president says river is central to co-operation and development efforts between neighbouring states

Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and South Sudan's President Salva Kiir, wearing protective face masks, are seen in Juba, South Sudan, November 28, 2020 in this handout picture courtesy of the Egyptian Presidency. The Egyptian Presidency/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY.

The Nile can be a source of co-operation, development and a lifeline to all the people of the river's basin, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi said at the weekend during a visit to South Sudan.

Speaking alongside his counterpart Salva Kiir in Juba on Saturday, Mr El Sisi said Egypt would continue to support the world's youngest country.

"We are committed to providing all aspects of support, and I call on the international community to fulfil its pledges and obligations to the state of South Sudan in its march towards building a better future," he said.

"We support efforts to lift international sanctions on it, in a way that contributes to supporting the ongoing political transition."

Mr El Sisi praised the efforts made by political parties in South Sudan towards conflict resolution, strengthening the Government of National Unity and drafting a constitution.

Mr El Sisi said that his discussions with Mr Kiir included the Grand Ethiopia Renaissance Dam and the negotiations that Egypt hopes will result in a binding legal agreement on the filling and operation of the dam.

Training programmes provided by the Egyptian Agency for Partnership for Development in sectors such as education, health, agriculture, irrigation and other civil and military fields in South Sudan would be strengthened, he said.