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Ethiopian researchers urge dialogue over dam

Ethiopian officials and Sudanese president discuss issues related to the Renaissance High Dam and the best use of Nile water for developmental projects

MENA, Thursday 1 May 2014
Ethiopian dam
A machine digs a ditch at the Grand Renaissance dam in Guba Woreda, Benishangul Gumuz region March 16, 2014 (Photo: Reuters)
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A group of researchers and members of an Ethiopian intellectual forum have called for dialogue between Nile Basin countries over the construction of its dam on the Blue Nile.

They said they would contribute to the preparation of a framework for the integrated management of water resources in the region, Egypt's state news agency MENA reported.

The intellectual forum was organised by the Centre for Developmental Studies (CDS), a local think tank, and was hosted by Bahardar University, bringing together the country’s most prominent scholars and institutions.

The forum discussed issues related to the Renaissance High Dam and the importance of the Nile River for development purposes.

Sudanese President Omar Bashir participated in the forum along with Ethiopian federal and governmental officials.

Meanwhile, a new Egyptian satellite has been released to monitor construction of the dam.

Egyptian interim Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab spoke on Friday during a meeting with Egyptians in Chad about the importance of establishing "distinguished relations" with Ethiopia in spite of the ongoing dispute over the project.

Ethiopia's plan to build the dam has caused discord 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 the 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 project on the Blue Nile, one of the river's main tributaries.

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