Minister: Egypt will not supply water to Israel

Egypt's Minister of Irrigation and Water Resources, Mohamed Nasr Eddin Allam, dismissed the possibility of Egypt supplying Israel with Nile waters, stressing that the issue is not on the country's political agenda.

"There is not enough water supplies in the first place to transfer to Israel, if it had been that easy, we would have supplied all of Sinai lands with Nile waters," the minister said in an interview with Al-Masry Al-Youm.

Allam mentioned that President Hosni Mubarak had publicly declared that Egypt's waters will not cross its borders.

The minister downplayed Israeli investments in Nile Basin countries, labeling them as technically and financially weak when compared with Egyptian investments.

Though Egypt's share of Nile waters stands at 55.5 billion square meters per year, its consumption amounts to 75 billion square meters per year, said Allam, who pointed out that Egypt lies below the water poverty line.

The minister explained that Egypt's per capita share remains less than 700 square meters annually, while the poverty line sets a minimum of 1000 square meters.

Allam noted that water poverty created a food gap in Egypt estimated by US$6 billion annually (LE34 billion), revealing that the Egyptian government is in the process of studying the impact of climate changes on the quantity of Nile waters.

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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