Nile not on agenda at Africa-France summit, say French

The Africa-France summit scheduled to begin tomorrow will not include any formal discussions of the ongoing dispute over the distribution of Nile water, though the topic could ocome up during meetings on the environment or political stability, officials sources in the French presidential palace say. However,

Official source at the French presidential palace Elysee said that the Nile water crisis is not on the agenda of “Africa-France” summit, scheduled to start tomorrow at Nice city, but this shall not prevent any delegation from discussing it within issues of environment and political stability.

Egyptian diplomatic sources, however, told Al-Masry Al-Youm that President Hosni Mubarak may meet with number of Nile basin countries’ presidents on the sidelines of the summit to discuss disagreements between Egypt and upstream countries over the new framework agreement on the distribution of Nile water.

Both president Mubarak and his French counterpart Nicolas Sarkozy are supposed to deliver opening speeches. Egypt will host the next Africa-France summit in 2013.

French media reported that quick reform of the United Nations Security Council will top the agenda, including “allocating permanent seats to African countries.”

Meanwhile, Minister of Energy and Elecrticy Hassan Younis will inaugurate the third Forum of Energy Ministers in Africa today in Cairo. The forum is sponsored by Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif and will be attended by energy ministers from the six Nile Basin countries and 16 other African ministers, as well as representatives from international organizations.

Sources in the ministry declared that Younis will focus on enhancing cooperation with Nile Basin countries as part of the government’s efforts to improve relations.

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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