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US' Biden urges constructive dialogue on human rights in Egypt

US President Joe Biden on February 05, 2021 in Washington, DC [Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images]
US President Joe Biden on 5 February 2021 in Washington, DC [Chip Somodevilla /Getty Images]

US President Joe Biden underscored the importance of constructive dialogue on human rights in Egypt, while praising Cairo's success in coordinating with Washington to end Israel's aggression against Gaza.

During a call between Biden and his Egyptian counterpart, Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, on Monday, the US president stressed the importance of holding constructive dialogue on human rights in the North African state, adding that the two presidents "reaffirmed their commitment to a strong and productive partnership between the United States and Egypt."

Before Biden was elected president of the United States, he criticised Egypt for committing human rights violations. Cairo rejected the accusations and stressed its adherence to respecting human rights and freedom of expression, while reiterating its full commitment to its strategic relations with Washington.

Biden also thanked Egypt for its successful diplomatic endeavour and coordination with the United States to end the recent Israeli bombardment of Gaza.

The statement said that the two leaders discussed "the urgent need to deliver humanitarian assistance to those in need in Gaza and support reconstruction efforts in a manner that benefits the people there and not Hamas."

READ: Egypt gives initial permission for international medical aid to enter Gaza

With regards Ethiopia's controversial dam project, the White House statement confirmed that "Biden acknowledged Egypt's concerns about access to the Nile water and underscored the US interest in achieving a diplomatic resolution that meets the legitimate needs of Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia."

The statement pointed out that "the two presidents discussed their commitment to upholding Libya's plans to hold national elections in December and the removal of all foreign military and irregular forces from the country; while affirming their support for the Iraqi government's efforts to strengthen Iraq's sovereignty and independence."

Ethiopia is building a $5 billion dam near the border with Sudan it says will provide the country with much-needed electricity and economic regeneration. Egypt believes it will restrict its access to Nile waters.

Egypt is almost entirely dependent on Nile water, receiving around 55.5 million cubic metres a year from the river, and believes that filling the dam will affect the water it needs for drinking, agriculture and electricity.

Cairo wants Ethiopia to guarantee Egypt will receive 40 billion cubic metres or more of water from the Nile. Ethiopian Irrigation Minister Seleshi Bekele said Egypt has abandoned this demand, but Egypt insists it hasn't and issued a statement to this effect.

There is also an unresolved issue over how fast the dam will be filled, with Egypt fearing if it is filled too quickly, it could affect the electricity generated by the Aswan High Dam.

Never-ending fight between Egypt/Ethiopia and Sudan over the Renaissance Dam - Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

Never-ending fight between Egypt/Ethiopia and Sudan over the Renaissance Dam – Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

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AfricaAsia & AmericasEgyptIsraelMiddle EastNewsPalestineSudanUS
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