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Saudi Arabia says it supports Egypt, Sudan ‘legitimate water rights’

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Saudi Arabia said it supports Egypt and Sudan in “preserving their legitimate water rights,” state news agency (SPA) reported on Tuesday.

“The kingdom supports the efforts of Egypt and Sudan to contain this crisis and their demands to solve it in accordance with the rules of international law. It also supports international moves aimed at finding a binding solution to end it,” SPA added.

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“The Kingdom calls on the international community to intensify efforts to find a clear mechanism to start negotiations between the three countries (Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia) to get out of this crisis,” SPA said.

Egypt’s irrigation minister said on Monday he had received official notice from Ethiopia that it had begun filling the reservoir behind its giant hydropower dam, the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), for a second year.

Egypt has informed Ethiopia of its categorical rejection of the measure, which it regards as a threat to regional stability, Irrigation Minister Mohamed Abdel Aty said in a statement.

Ethiopia says the dam on its Blue Nile is crucial to its economic development and providing power to its population.

Read more: UN Security Council to meet on controversial Ethiopia mega dam project