Mubarak, African leaders review Nile River issues

Egypt considers agreement on "red line" issue, compromise on "historic" water rights.

Nile 311 (photo credit: Associated Press)
Nile 311
(photo credit: Associated Press)
CAIRO  — Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak on Sunday discussed with his counterpart from the Congo and the prime Minster of Kenya the lingering crisis over sharing the waters of the Nile river.
Egypt said it is carefully weighing its response to a new agreement signed by five upriver countries which could affect its current majority share of the river's waters.
Egypt's Middle East News Agency said Mubarak, Kenya's Raila Odinga andCongolese President Joseph Kabila reviewed in two separate meetingscooperation between Egypt and other Nile basin countries "in irrigationand agriculture."
Egypt initially shunned the frameworkagreement, signed earlier this month by Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Rwandaand Tanzania, because it fails to protect what Cairo calls its"historic" water rights.
Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit said Saturday talks with thesignatories are ongoing to determine whether Egypt will stay out of theagreement, formally called the "Nile Basin initiative."
Egyptianofficials have said the agreement could still be amended, calling theNile waters a "red line" or a national security issue for their country.