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Statements claiming failure of Ethiopian dam talks 'untrue': Egypt's irrigation minister

Ahram Online , Sunday 13 Dec 2015
Hossam Moghazi
Egypt's irrigation minister Hossam Moghazi (Photo: Courtesy of Irrigation ministry official Facebook page)
Views: 4215
Views: 4215

Egypt's irrigation minister Hossam Moghazi said that claims regarding the failure of the latest tripartite meeting over Ethiopia's Renaissance dam  are false.

The latest tripartite meeting took place in Khartoum on Friday and Saturday.

Egyptian local media reported that the talks ended in failure, with no agreement being reached between the three countries, citing Sudanese officials.

"This is the first meeting of its kind since the Renaissance dam issue came about four years ago," Moghazi said in a phone interview with El-Beit Beitak program aired on privately owned channel TEN late Saturday. 

He explained that this is the first time that Egypt officially discussed its concerns with the foreign and irrigation ministers of Sudan and Ethiopia. 

"Among the concerns that were raised were the fast pace of building the dam, the importance of the impact dam studies, and also the importance of not filling the dam at any stage," says Moghazi. 

The Egyptian irrigation minister said that the Ethiopian side will respond to all concerns in a one-week period, during the 27-28 December round of talks that will take place in Khartoum.

"Some people believe that we could solve issues in one sitting that have existed for the past four to five years, since 2011. We have agreed on a number of solutions and we will resume talks in the upcoming round," says Moghazi. 

He also stressed that that six ministers have evaluated the talks and progress on the dam since the signature of the declaration of principles   in March 2015 between the three countries. 

According to Moghazi, the development and preparation of the land surrounding the dam is 50 percent complete, while he estimates that construction of the dam itself is 20 percent complete.

The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, scheduled to be completed in 2017, will be Africa's largest hydroelectric power plant with a storage capacity of 74 billion cubic metres of water.

Egypt has repeatedly expressed concerns that filling and operating the dam on the Blue Nile will negatively affect Egypt's water supply, while Ethiopia has rejected these claims.

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