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Egypt's Morsi, top officials mull response to Ethiopia dam move

Egyptian officialdom awaits outcome of tripartite commission's report on Ethiopian dam project – expected on Sunday – before deciding on appropriate response

Ahram Online , Thursday 30 May 2013
Morsi
President Morsi and the officials during the meeting (Photo: Presidency Official Facebook Page)
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President Mohamed Morsi on Thursday met with Defence Minister Abdel-Fatah El-Sisi, Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim and General Intelligence head Rafaat Shehata to discuss recent developments in Sinai and Egypt's position regarding Ethiopian plans to build a series of dams on the Nile.

According to presidential spokesman Ehab Fahmy, meeting attendees discussed the options available to Egypt to deal with Ethiopia's 'Renaissance Dam' project and the project's potential impact on Egypt and its share of Nile water.

Fahmy also stated that talks were ongoing with Ethiopian officials in an effort to reach an agreement to the "mutual benefit" of both countries.

President Morsi, Fahmy said, had also discussed the issue with Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Omar and Water Resources Minister Mohamed Bahaa El-Din.

At a press conference held earlier on Thursday at the Presidential Palace in Cairo, Fahmy said that the presidency would "not allow anyone to threaten Egypt's supply of Nile water."

Egypt supports development projects in Africa "as long as they don't affect Egypt's national security," the presidential spokesman stressed. He went on to note that President Morsi was keen to cooperate with "all African states" on water-sharing issues.

At a press conference convened following the meeting with the president, Bahaa El-Din declared that the Egypt had ruled out a military response in the event that Ethiopia insisted on going ahead with its dam project.

The minister added that a report on the dam project by an international tripartite commission – consisting of representatives from Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia – would be issued on Sunday.

If the report concluded that the Ethiopian dam project would adversely affect Egypt, Bahaa El-Din said that Egypt would prepare "a number of scenarios."  

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asmamaw t
11-06-2013 02:05pm
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mutual benefit of nile river
In fact the life of the Egyptians may on Nile but the reality is that Ethiopia must benefit from her own river and all the Ethiopian nationals are one and one on the construction of the grand renaissance dam and ready to response for any military,action against the dam we never and ever afraid the Egyptians and they know us who we are!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Mr.Negussie Wolde
30-05-2013 09:06pm
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Ethiopian dam project
Actually there is no immediate or long term impact on Egypt if this dam project completed!I think the flow of the Nile water to Egypt is rather secured by the following four factors on Ethiopian side than on Egypt's repository of colonial era documents which had been rusted since its birth! 1.there is no suitable irrigable land along the Abay river on the western parts of Ethiopia 2.Ethiopia's huge population and the subsequent massive urbanization process is further south of the Capital city than along the Abay river . 3.It is impossible to do any massive project around lake Tana because of the Old monasteries on lake Tana.Any massive tourist attraction,hotels,urbanization,and the like will upset the deep conservative nature of The Orthodox Christianity in that part of Ethiopia. 4.Ethiopia got a lot of rivers and underground water to use cheaply than dragging Abay to other parts of Ethiopia which is more expensive and undo able . Moving forward, actually it is the toxic nature of Egyptian media and the "old Regime" and "the colonial mentality" of Egyptian government in order to divert attentions from the internal reform pressure from the youth .In fact it is a double win situation for Egypt and The Sudan in the future to get cheap electricity from Ethiopia.If in fact Ethiopia wants to punish Egypt,the cheapest and the easiest way is to make massive urbanization process around lake Tana which probably leave no a single spoon of water to down stream.Probably we shall see very soon those toxic media to miss inform the Egyptian people that an Israeli fighter jets will fly to Ethiopia to fetch water to Israel!Time will tell!!!
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ali
30-05-2013 09:19pm
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but....
this problem should have been solved by mubarak regime while this project was in its embryonic form. this government now cannot allow egypt to be destoyed by other fancy project. egypt survived because of the nile for thousands of years and at any cost will protect the nile even if it means invading ethiopia.
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