Ethiopia and Sudan have expressed their commitment to play a leading role in the effective implementation of objectives of the Nile Basin Initiative (NBI), a partnership among 10 Nile riparian states.

During their bilateral discussions here Wednesday, the leaders of the two countries expressed their readiness to strengthen the initiative, which was established to ensure equitable utilization of the waters of the Nile.

Following the discussion, foreign ministers of the two countries told the media that Ethiopia and Sudan would play a leading role for the realization of the objectives of the NBI, whose membership comprises Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Eritrea.

Sudanese Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour said his country was working closely with Ethiopia in ensuring equitable use of the Nile's water resources. He recalled that the Nile riparian countries, during their recent meeting in Uganda, had agreed on basic issues, despite some differences.

Noting that the technical committee entrusted with preparing the groundwork for the realization of the objectives of the NBI was carrying out its activities well, Ghandour expressed hope to see fruitful results in the near future.

Hirut Zemene, the State Minister at the Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said the two countries were working together to properly utilize the Nile's water resources so as to effectively tackle the effects of climate change. She added that trans-boundary rivers should not be considered as causes of contention; rather they need to be considered as potential sources for mutual co-operation.

Noting that Ethiopia wished to change the water utilization history of the region, which was characterized by unjust practices in the region, Hirut praised Sudan for its contributions in this regard.

Prime Minister Hailemariam said the issues that the two countries had agreed to cooperate on previously were being implemented properly and thus the two countries were benefiting their respective peoples by ensuring peace and stability as well as through the development of infrastructure networks.

He mentioned the Addis Ababa-Khartoum road project, and activities carried out in defence, national security and border security issues as effective activities of bilateral co-operation.

The Prime Minister pledged that Ethiopia would continue to strive for the stability of the region as well as establishment of economic integration with Sudan. He also pledged to collaborate with Sudan in insuring peace and stability in South Sudan, realizing objectives of the NBI, and contributing to a peaceful resolution of the Gulf crisis.

President al-Bashir stressed that the strong ties between the two countries contributed to the stability and economic development of the region and called for the consolidation of the strong bilateral ties.

Prime Minister Hailemariam arrived here Tuesday for a three-day official visit at the invitation of President al-Bashir.

Source: NAM News Network

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