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229 words - June 17, 2013 | © DiploNews, all rights reserved.
On June 13, the parliament of Ethiopia – the House of People – ratified the Cooperative Framework Agreement (CFA). According to the Ethiopian government, the CFA was "the first multilateral treaty successfully negotiated under the auspices of the Nile Basin Initiative (NBI)" and constituted "an important step towards the realization of equitable utilization of the Nile Waters," For the Nile Commission to be established, Ethiopia has called upon the other signatories - Uganda, Kenya, Burundi, Tanzania and Rwanda – to ratify the agreement.
This announcement came after renewed tensions with Egypt after Ethiopia decided to "divert the Blue Nile course in order to start implementing the (Grand Ethiopian) Renaissance Dam Project (GERD)," said Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohammed Amr. Describing the Nile as "vein of life", Egyptian authorities reiterated their full commitment to "water security" and demanded that the parties, including Ethiopia, reach an agreement "ensuring the implementation of the Committee of Experts' recommendations" on which Egypt and Ethiopia still have differing interpretations.
The US Department of State encouraged the two countries to "continue working together constructively to minimize the downstream impacts of GERD and develop the Blue Nile for the benefit of all the people in the region." The topic was discussed further at the NBI's Council of Ministers' meeting in Juba, South Sudan's capital, on June 20.
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