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We are not against the Ethiopian people, but we advocate our interests: Egypt's PM

Egypt's prime minister underlines his country's commitment to friendly solutions to the dispute with Ethiopia over the Grand Renaissance Dam

Ahram Online, Saturday 26 Apr 2014
Mahlab
Egyptian prime minister Ibrahim Mahlab during a meeting with the Egyptian delegation in Chad's N'Djamena, 25 April 2014 (Photo courtesy of Egypt's cabinet Facebook page)
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Egyptian Interim Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab spoke Friday on the importance of establishing "distinguished relations" with Ethiopia in spite of the ongoing dispute over the Grand Renaissance Dam (GRD) project.

"Egyptian-Ethiopian relations are historical," said Mahlab during a meeting with Egyptians in Chad's N'Djamena.

Ethiopia's plan to build the dam has caused dispute between the two African countries. The project has been a source of concern for the Egyptian government since May of last year, when images of the dam's construction stirred public anxiety about possible effects on Egypt's share of Nile waters, the country's main source of potable water.

The planned dam is a $4.2 billion hydroelectric dam on the Blue Nile, one of the main tributaries of the Nile.

"We're not against the Ethiopian people but we advocate our interests," Mahlab said.

"We will protect our rights to the Nile water with the support of the world and African countries, and with our efforts," said Mahlab who underlined Egypt's commitment to friendly solutions to the ongoing crisis.

Mahlab, who is also visiting Tanzania this weekend, added that his visit to Chad signals the keenness of Egypt to make a "strong return to Africa."

He also said that he supported operating an airline between Egypt and Ethiopia.

Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan formed a tripartite technical committee to study the possible effects of Grand Renaissance Dam and to try to generate consensus. Ethiopia maintains that Egypt's water share will not be negatively affected by the successful completion of the project.

Despite talks between Ethiopia and Egypt breaking down in recent months, officials from both countries insist they will continue to meet in order to solve the dispute over the dam.

Earlier this month, the foreign ministers of both Egypt and Ethiopia held talks in Brussels on the dam.

Last Thursday, Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn invited Egypt for another round of tripartite talks with Sudan in order to implement recommendations given by an international committee over the construction of the GRD.

"We seek to persuade the Egyptian authorities to avoid unnecessary complaints against the dam and to resume the tripartite talks with Ethiopia and Sudan," Desalegn said in the Ethiopian parliament.

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33



Muluneh
29-04-2014 07:53pm
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Returning to Africa they were on "Mars" earlier
Egypt doen't want to share Nile and Ahram doesnt want to share ideas we contribute. "We are strongly returning to Africa" ha ha for what purpose?? At least it is not too late but use your chance
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32



Muluneh
29-04-2014 08:14am
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We don't care for others???? Yes we know that
"strong return to Africa." Because to maintain the Nile Really Egyptians telling the truth. "We love ourselves so much. At any cost we achieve that even if it means returning to Africa." I understand in this sense.
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31



Salahadin
28-04-2014 02:30pm
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At least diplomatically better words but the same meaning
The PM is saying he don't oppose Ethiopian development, very skeptical but let me "hope" he will not sustain the ongoing proxy war against Ethiopia on the principle of "if Ethiopia develop ,it is a threat to Nile". The more arrogance and selfishness we learnt about Egyptian outdated politician and their dependency on 1029 and 1959 Jokes ,the more we will be aggressive to exercise our right beyond power generation. Mathematical share of the Nile water for both irrigation and power generation. That is our right under continuing aggression , but with a brotherly dialogue, the Egyptian brothers will benefit otherwise. Sooner, they will all come to the reality after rounds in the world, by then your negotiation power will be nominal. Now you can block the financial sources that now we need it for sure but you can not block our sprit and patriotism. We don't allow any body to stand on our throat. With love the resource is enough for all of us
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30



Mik
28-04-2014 11:33am
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L
Ethiopia has right to use nile for to generation of electricity
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29



dilayehu
28-04-2014 11:28am
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I guess
As far as i sensitize it from their motive, if Egypt were positioned on the upper course and Ethiopia on the lower course of the river i guess Egypt will never give a single drop of water for Ethiopia. you the generous and courageous people of Ethiopia do not expect some thing good from them do what you want to do on you river that comes out from the heart of your land
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28



Dilbedil
28-04-2014 11:12am
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you will have no success
You Egyptian officials let me ask you one thing. you said we are not the enemy of the people ,what does this mean as your striving day and night to stop us from doing our homework. Listen you will gain nothing out of your wandering here and there. please do not waste your energy, time and money we Ethiopians are in harmony ever than before no one can split us and stop us from completing the construction of GERD
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27



kassa g/mariam
28-04-2014 10:56am
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ethiopia supports & practics peasfull co-existance!
Ethiopia supports the existance of peace in africa & in the world my evidence is the latest contributions in d/t countries such as somalia,south sudan,rewanda etc.The GRD will not be asource treat for Egyptian rather it wiil be asource of strong fridship with Egyptian & ethiopians so let's unite together to overcome the problem of power in africa & it helps to overthrow poverty from africa.
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26



Ilala Geda
28-04-2014 10:21am
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Let Ethiopia Generate Electricity if Egypt Wants Potable Water
Unless the old mentality of Egyptian leaders healed, there will not be win-win solution on over Nile dispute. Egyptian leaders’ old mentality was---" Ethiopia must not use a drop of water from the Nile River. Creating instability in Ethiopia by helping its enemies with war weapons and petrol-dollars. Putting diplomatic pressure etc. " but it is an old fashion today. Egypt should not use Nile River for political consumption, but it is better to use it mainly for economic reasons. If it is politically driven so as to get cheap public support, they will fail to meet the interest of their people. They should tell the truth that the water simply generates electricity in Ethiopia and reaches Egypt with additional water volume. We do not need any external financial support to build the dam; we have surrendered the Egyptian-made war weapons during the Ethiopia-Eritrea war else where; we do the project with our experts. It should also be clear to all that Ethiopia will have the capacity
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25



The balance
28-04-2014 06:44am
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Goes both way
Egypt has oil and Ethiopia has water. Both should share. That means simple first stepsfor integration as Africans.
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24



etman
28-04-2014 04:54am
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We already know that
We know you are not againest Ethiopian people interest, except you just prefer millions of Ethiopians to perish in drought than equitable and fair share. Everybody knows Egypt is not against Ethiopians interest except they support whoever is ready to destabilize that country, they just fuel any war to be an endless civil war so that Ethiopia cannot touch a drop of water. You are not against the interest of Ethiopia except you come up excuses after excuse when regional fair share of water is discussed.
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