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Egypt pursuing win-win solution with Ethiopia: Ambassador
Ethiopian dam not necessarily harmful to Egypt, mutually beneficial solution possible, says Egyptian ambassador in Addis Ababa
Dina Ezzat , Wednesday 29 May 2013
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Idris
Egypt's ambassador in Addis Ababa, Mohamed Idris (Photo: Ahram Arabic news website)

“Ethiopia has repeatedly and publicly affirmed that Egypt’s water interests will not be harmed [by the construction of the Renaissance Dam] and we are following up on this,” Mohamed Idris, Egyptian ambassador in Addis Ababa, told Ahram Online on Tuesday.

Idris was speaking by phone from the Ethiopian capital after Monday's announcement by Ethiopia that it would begin work on diverting the course of the Blue Nile as part of the Renaissance Dam project.

The dam is already under construction despite requirements under international law that all Nile Basin states must agree before such a project is undertaken.

The Renaissance Dam is expected to require the storage of over 70 billion cubic metres of water from the Blue Nile that provides Egypt with over 80 percent of its annual share of Nile water – with the rest coming from Uganda.

The construction of the dam was effectively initiated some two years ago following the signing of an agreement by most upstream Nile Basin states. Ethiopia will use the dam to generate electricity to meet its expanded development needs, with extra for exports.

“We are pursuing a win-win scenario in which the interests of both sides can be served and accommodated,” Idris said.

The possibility of only mild damage to Egypt’s interests is possible because the water to be stored behind the dam will only be used to generate electricity and not for irrigation.

“There are several factors that should be taken into consideration and will be decided upon by technical experts. We are expecting Ethiopian officials to make good on their promise to act in a way that will not harm Egyptian interests,” Idris said. “It is not impossible,” he added.

A report on the possible impact of the Renaissance Dam is expected to be published this week by a committee of representatives and experts from Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan.

Sources close to the committee say the report will reveal some concerns over the impact of the dam on Egypt and Sudan. It is also expected to reveal concerns that cracks could develop in the dam within a few years and eventually lead to serious flooding.

Idris said he had not read the report and was not willing to speculate on its content. “We have initiated a new phase of good relations with Ethiopia since the January 25 Revolution. There is new momentum that has seen greater bilateral trade and more Egyptian investment in Ethiopia, in addition to the expansion of cooperation,” he said.

“In a positive atmosphere of mutual trust and cooperation we are certainly capable of moving forward with our joint cooperation, but should the overall atmosphere take a negative turn it is unlikely that we could pursue the improvement in our mutual interests,” Idris stressed.

The construction of the dam is likely to be completed in around three years if Ethiopia manages to keep the funds flowing. So far Ethiopia says it is only using national funds. Cairo has made a point of reminding potential international donors that any aid should be consistent with international regulations that demand the full consent of all Nile Basin states for key Nile projects.

Idris is hopeful that an agreement can be reached while the dam is being constructed so both sides can manage the matter “with consideration for the development interests of both sides.”

He added, “We are in continuous consultation with Ethiopia and this will be upgraded to ensure the matter is given the fullest consideration and fulfills the interests of both nations."

Idris said the diversion of the Blue Nile is a step in the dam-construction process and the most crucial matter ahead is the pace of water storage and safety considerations.

“At the end of the day we cannot agree to anything that would harm our interests. I think this is clear and legitimate,” he added.





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6



asse
21-06-2013 02:24pm
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fairness and equality is our quality
we ethiopians respect a person who is mosilim, christian, and other relgion. this is true and our history, relgion books can be a witness. our rulers has never been evil despite thier great power. now the nation is working very hard to abolish western and some other evil rulers designed hunger on ethiopia. now noone can take us back to civil war, poverty, and ilitracy unlike before. the world nation should pray for war victim syrians, poor economic policy victim of british and americans citizens and bad politics victim of egypt. God bless Nelsson mandella , an african pride
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Mohammed
30-05-2013 04:46am
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selam
I always wonder why Egypt and Sudan refer to 1959 agreement which completely disregarded,excluded and ignored other upstream countries and their people's interests.Egyptians and other African people are all equal human beings who deserve a better life. For this reason alone, Egypt and Sudan have no other chance than cooperate with the upstream countries.The Dam is solely for Electricity generation which Ethiopia lacks so much.We need it badly.Egypt will get its water as well.She needs it badly either. Therefore,as the old fashioned Mubarak and his cadres used to say' don't touch the Nile water!'will never work on Africans.All the people of the Nile basin countries need better life than they are living now.They deserve better.The only way to achieve this is only through cooperation.No single country own the Nile alone. It is the gift of all basin countries and their peoples. Hence we all have the right to use this resource and improve the lives of our people.With cooperation we can go a long way.Please don't let the world laugh at us while we quarrel.God Bless Africa!!
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4



BERHAN
29-05-2013 11:45pm
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NILE DAM
Where have you been Egypt and Sudan? Now when Ethiopia is determine to build the Dam you want ta talk about win win solution this is real funny. what happen to you don't want talk to or have a meeting with the Nile Basin states ,Now all i can say to Sudan and Egypt is " The Sleeping Giant is Awakening "
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3



Dwayne H
29-05-2013 03:01pm
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More dams
This is only the first of many dams coming on the Nile. Uganda is building a dam on their portion of the Nile, and a handful of other dams are also going up.
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ethiopian Observer
29-05-2013 12:18pm
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Shame on ethiopia!!!
We ethiopians are very disappointed by our government in addis for trying to please egypt. We ethiopians have no obligation to allow egyptian "experts" inspect our dam project!!!! We are independent country#1 if we ethiopians were never asked to inspect aswan dam in egypt, why should egypt be allowed to inspect ours?#2 the colonial agreements are with colonial powers, not with ethiopia#3 african countries have already signed a new agreement. We have excluded egypt from this new agreement just like egypt excluded ua from the "agreement 50 years ago!#4 Building hydro dam in the nile river does not affect water flow. Our government needs to start irrigation system on the nile river. Egypt can buy food from us if they want. Shame !!!!!
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Asse
21-06-2013 01:58pm
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come down friend
we ethiopian are free from evil interest as well as greedy wishs. unlike the past evil egyptian rulers our gov't shouldn't repeat the same evil thing. but unlike before we ethiopians are not alone on the planet. now countries are becoming a bit concious about fairness like ethiopians. we ethiopians were serious victim of europians economically and poletically. of course no country colonsed and it won't in the future also. but they were succesful to attack us by interguing indirectly through civil war. my friend we should understand the world politics very well. Now we are not only liberal nation but also very careful. This time ethiopians know every move in the global politics. The stand of ethio gov't is still very well appreciated and it shows our usual fairness and how much we are civilised despite the some evil rulers designed internal stability problem. evil rulers never stops giving up creating a problem to other nation. we are not evil my friend. don't forget still everything
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Ema
29-05-2013 12:12pm
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Let's play Win Win
For anyone with rational mind, it is obvious that the best case scenario is for fast rising Ethiopia and the two downstream countries Egypt and Sudan to cooperate for a win win solution. The dam will be built despite the intrigue, barricade and intransigence played by Egypt until recently and the question is, is it worth to go against an upstream country like today's Ethiopia? Rational thinking says big No, as long as Ethiopia is willing to consider Egypt's interest as well, which it is doing. The dam is just for electricity generation and once it turns the turbine it is going to follow its natural course and flow to Egypt. What is wrong with that? If however Egypt miscalculates and decide to continue to use all the tricks in its book as it is used to doing until recently, the consequences is not going to be felt on Ethiopia alone as things have changed for good never to be reversed.
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