Riyadh expressed support for Cairo's water security in connection with Ethiopia's Renaissance hydropower plant

13 January 2023

Saudi Arabia has expressed full support for Egypt's water security and solidarity with all measures taken by Cairo to protect it. This was stated in a joint statement issued Thursday by Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry and his Saudi counterpart, Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud, following political consultations of the two Arab countries' committee in Riyadh.


"Saudi Arabia expresses full support for Egypt's water security as an integral part of Arab national security and stands in solidarity with all measures taken by Cairo to protect it," the Saudi-Egyptian statement reads. The kingdom also called on Ethiopia "to show political will" and "not to take any unilateral measures regarding the Renaissance hydropower plant." "It is necessary to reach a binding legal agreement on the rules for filling and operating the dam," the statement said.


The consultations in Riyadh confirmed "the convergence of the two brotherly countries' views on the many crises experienced by the region and the world." Saudi Arabia and Egypt in particular "reaffirmed their support for the resolution of the Libyan conflict under the auspices of the UN and the need to stop any foreign interference in Libya." The sides also "stressed the importance of raising the Palestinian question as a central problem of the Arab world" and called for its "just and comprehensive solution." According to the statement, the foreign ministers discussed further strengthening of bilateral cooperation between the countries in all spheres.

Ethiopia has been negotiating since 2012 with Egypt and Sudan, which are located downstream of the Nile, on the use of Nile water and the timing of filling the reservoir of the Renaissance hydroelectric power plant. So far, the parties have failed to reach an agreement, and Ethiopian federal authorities have unilaterally started filling the reservoir with Blue Nile water. The Sudan and Egypt are concerned about Ethiopia's plans to continue filling the reservoir without an international treaty. For example, the Ethiopian government has said it will fill the hydropower reservoir to its design level in seven years. Egypt insists on a period of 21 years in order to avoid significant negative consequences of reduced water flow to the Nile.



GSV "Russia - Islamic world"

Photo: lawepw/Public Domain

Based on materials from TASS