Egypt, Ethiopia agree to settle differences over Nile mega-dam

Postado Junho 11, 2018

Ethiopia has reassured Cairo that its water share will not be affected.

Ethiopia's prime minister has sworn not to "harm" Egypt's share of the Nile, breaking the deadlock in talks over control of Africa's longest river.

Ahmed's comments came in a press conference with Egypt's President Abdel-Fatah al-Sisi in Cairo.

"I swear to Allah that Ethiopia will not do any harm to Egypt's water", said the Ethiopian prime minister during his first visit to Cairo since he assumed office in April.

Ahmed said the soon-to-be-completed Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam will not reduce Egypt's share of the Nile, which provides virtually all the Arab country's freshwater.

"I would like to reiterate that the relation between Egypt and Ethiopia is a strategic partnership relation, and that Egypt's strategic policy is to enhance common interests with Ethiopia in all fields", the Egyptian president told the news conference.

Over the past seven years, Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan have held several rounds of talks on the dam's anticipated impact on Nile water resources.

In May, the irrigation ministers of all three countries that share the Nile agreed to set up a study group on how the dam would be filled and meet once every six months to discuss the situation.

On May 16, Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan said they had made progress in talks on their lingering dispute over the Ethiopian dam.

"The meetings of the ministerial committees are unable to make key breakthroughs without consensus at the level of political leaderships", Raslan told Xinhua.

The ambitious project will be Africa's largest hydroelectric dam. It is expected to produce around 6,000 megawatts of electricity for Ethiopia.

Diplomatic tensions between Egypt and Ethiopia have seen on the rise since the dam project started in 2011.

However, it is believed to have massive benefits for Ethiopia and Sudan while it might affect Egypt's 55.5-billion-cubic-meter annual share of the river which raises concerns and fears among Egyptians.