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Ethiopia minister criticises Egyptian media over Rennaisance dam

Ahram Online , Monday 25 Aug 2014
Ethiopia's Great Renaissance Dam is constructed in Guba Woreda, some 40 km (25 miles) from Ethiopia's border with Sudan, June 28, 2013. (Photo: Reuters)
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During ongoing talks between Egypt and Ethiopia in Sudan's capital Khartoum on Monday, Ethiopia's Irrigation Minister Alemayehu Tegenu expressed to his Egyptian counterpart his displeasure with the role the Egyptian media played in exacerbating the Renaissance Dam crisis, Al-Ahram arabic news website reported. 

Despite this, Egypt's Irrigation and Water Resources Minister Hossam El-Moghazi said talks were positive so far as he walked towards a ministerial meeting having attended part of the technical delegation meeting, reported Al-Ahram Arabic news website.

The sensitivity of the subject and the media frenzy around it was fittingly reflected when an Egyptian broadcaster was suspended in June for hanging up on Ethiopia's ambassador to Cairo during a live TV phone-in.

Sudanese Irrigation Minister Moataz Moussa assured in his opening speech of the tripartite talks between Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia that problematic issues will be resolved in an atmosphere of cooperation instead of mistrust.

Moussa stressed on Monday that Sudan was an essential partner in the discussions and not a mediator.

Egyptian minister El-Moghazi arrived in Sudan on Sunday, along with his Ethiopian counterpart Tegnoto, for the tripartite talks.

El-Moghazi has previously said that Egypt has a new "vision" regarding the Ethiopian Grand Renaissance Dam.

The project has been a source of concern for the Egyptian government since May 2013, when images of the dam's construction stirred public anxiety about the possible effect on Egypt's potable water supply.

Ethiopia maintains that Egypt's water share will not be negatively affected by the successful completion of the project, set to be Africa's largest hydroelectric dam.

The tripartite talks were initially planned to take place in Cairo but were later moved to Khartoum.

The talks are expected to develop seven main points that Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi and Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn previously discussed during a meeting in late June – among them fostering dialogue and cooperation between the two countries as well as regional projects to meet the growing demand for water.

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