Egypt urges Ethiopia to reach agreement on Nile dam
According to an Egyptian Foreign Ministry statement, Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukri made the appeal at a Tuesday meeting in Addis Ababa with Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.
Also attended by Egyptian intelligence chief Abbas Kamel, Tuesday’s meeting was held to discuss preparations for an upcoming summit between the Ethiopian PM and Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi on the sidelines of a China-Africa Cooperation Forum to be held in Beijing on Sept. 1.
At Tuesday’s meeting, the Egyptian side stressed the importance of reaching agreement on the Grand Renaissance Dam in a way that guarantees Ethiopia’s development needs and preserves Egypt’s water security.
The meeting also tackled recent developments in the Horn of Africa and efforts to improve regional security, especially given that Egypt will assume the African Union’s rotating presidency early next year.
In 2011, the Ethiopian government began construction of the dam on the Blue Nile, a tributary of the Nile River, near the border with Sudan.
In the seven years since, Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan have held several rounds of talks to discuss the dam’s anticipated impact on Nile water resources.
Addis Ababa says electricity generated by the dam, which was originally slated for completion this year, will help eradicate poverty and help the country develop.
Egypt, for its part, fears the dam could adversely affect its historical share of Nile water. ■