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Tuesday, 19 November 2019

Water minister says Nile deal will be binding on Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan

Hossam Moghazy says the new agreement will bind Addis Ababa to changing the specification of its Grand Renaissance Dam project if deemed harmful by consultancy firm to downstream states

Ahram Online , Thursday 19 Mar 2015
dam
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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Egypt's minister of irrigation has said a tripartite agreement on sharing the Nile River's waters and operating Ethiopia's contested Grand Renaissance Dam will be binding on the three signatory states, Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan, once signed.

In comments carried by state news agency MENA Wednesday, Minister Hossam Moghazy said the deal will hold Ethiopia to amending the dam's specifications if consultancy studies on the hydroelectric project prove it harmful to downstream countries.

Moghazy said the agreement sets forth "a system of monitoring and regulating the operation" of the dam project.  

He added that further details of the deal — due be signed on 23 March in Sudan's capital, Khartoum — will be announced after review by legal, political and technical experts, and approval by the heads of states of the three countries.

Egypt has repeatedly voiced anxiety over the dam, which when finished will have a 74 billion cubic metre reservoir on the Nile’s largest tributary, fearing its water supply could be negatively affected.

Addis Ababa has repeatedly affirmed the 6,000 megawatt dam, which will be Africa's biggest hydroelectric station, will not harm downstream countries Egypt and Sudan.

Sudan, bordering Egypt and Ethiopia and which also relies on the Nile for much of its water, said it backs the project.

Moghazy said concurrence between the three states "on a political path" is the real guarantee on reservations each party has.

Sudanese Minister of Iirrigation Moataz Moussa said Wednesday, as quoted by Sudan's state news agency, the agreement would be the gateway to "cooperation and sustainable development" projects between the three countries.

The deal was first announced at the end of tripartite talks in Khartoum earlier in March. Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said at the time the deal outlines cooperation between the three countries on the use of the eastern Nile Basin and the Ethiopian Renaissance Dam.

Sudanese Foreign Minister Ali Karti hailed this week the upcoming deal as "historic" while his Ethiopian counterpart, Tedros Adhanom, earlier said it would open a "new chapter" in relations between the three states.

The agreement, which aims to resolve the dispute over the mega-project, will be sent to the heads of the three states to give their seal of approval once reviewed.

The consultancy firm that will carry out new water and environmental studies on the dam, in fulfillment of an agreement made between the three countries last year, has yet to be selected after a delay from an initial selection date of 9 March.

Moghazy said Wednesday that one of two shortlisted firms will be chosen by end of March.

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Bhekuzulu
21-03-2015 03:01pm
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Ethiopia must not be apologetic and ask for permission from the Arabs to use their natural resource
It always boggles my mind why Egypt wants to hold Ethiopia to ransom in using their God-given natural resource. It's pure arrogance. The Ethiopian people and their government must not be deterred by these crazy Egyptians. How can historical "rights" granted to them by the British without consulting other Nile countries centuries ago be even relevant in this day and age? Really, some people are amazing!!!
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Alex
19-03-2015 03:28pm
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binding agreement??
Why should Ethiopia accept to sign a binding agreement? In which way this is in their interest? Egypt rejected the results of the first studies (done by experts from the 3 countries) after failing in keeping it secret because it was not what they expected (the study confirmed that GERD will not cause significant harm to downstream countries) and now they would like Ethiopia to be binded by a new study prepared by a consulting company? Keep on dreaming Egyptians politicians and the poor people of Egypt will pay a high price for your outdated/ridiculous colonial mindset!! it's sad because the Egyptians should well understand the Ethiopians because they also had to fight against external aggression carried out by countries trying to use the Egyptian resources for their exclusive benefits! GERD is for the Ethiopians what Suez canal was for Egyptians, no one can stop them controlling their own resources! you cannot stop the unstoppable!
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Abraham
19-03-2015 12:30pm
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Playing with fire
I am 100% if the Ethiopia government sign any agreement that will compromise its national interest, people like me should go to jungle to fight and remove the government. All the wars we have with Eritrea and Somalia is because we want to keep our natural right, not historical right. Be careful signing any document that could affect Ethiopia position. I know if we have strong Ethiopia, We will be the Law. Nobody will stop us from using our natural resources.
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