Pope Tawadros II: Church not asked to arbitrate in Nile crisis

Coptic Pope Tawadros II has said that the president’s office did not ask him to address the Ethiopian Church to resolve the Nile water crisis after Ethiopia began to divert the course of the Blue Nile on Tuesday.
 
Egypt fears this measure will reduce its water supply.
 
In a phone conversation with Anadolu News Agency, Tawadros said that he has not received a phone call from President Mohamed Morsy or any other government official regarding the issue.
 
Some in the Egyptian media have said that Morsy asked Tawadros to capitalize on the historical relations between the Egyptian and Ethiopian Churches and that he had agreed and had invited the Ethiopian Pope to an urgent visit to Egypt.
 
Meanwhile, a source from the papal headquarters said that, "The pope will not hesitate to help resolve the Nile water crisis if asked," and added that Tawadros will meet with Ethiopian Church leader Abune Mathias in Cairo on 19 July and that they may discuss the issue then.
 
In statements to Anadolu, the same source emphasized that "the Ethiopian Church has no role in the Ethiopian decision-making process; it can give advice only."
 
The Ethiopian Church has long-standing relations with the Egyptian Church, but it cannot actually intervene to stop the construction of the dam, the source added.
 
The last meeting between the former Ethiopian pope and the late Pope Shenouda III in November 2012 did not tackle the Nile Basin crisis, added the source.