Question: What role, if any, did the U.S. have on a Nile River Basin Cooperative Framework with African countries that took place in Uganda on May 14?
The United States has been actively supporting the Nile Basin Initiative (NBI) as a means to promote economic growth, peace, and security in the Nile region. The U.S. position has been, and continues to be, that the nine participating riparian countries need to work together to establish a permanent regional institution that includes all the relevant countries, but we do not (and did not) have a position on the substantive issues discussed as part of the May 14 Comprehensive Framework Agreement.
We will continue to seek ways to support cooperative management of the Nile Basin’s resources. The Nile Basin Trust Fund that supports the NBI through donor-led assistance expires in 2012. Our hope is that there will be a formal Basin organization in place by then that includes all nine of the riparian countries. Should the riparian countries ask, we stand ready to support efforts in this direction.
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