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Egypt FM calls for overcoming delay in implementing Nile dam decisions during Adis Ababa talks

Ahram Online, Wednesday 14 Nov 2018
Renaissance dam
File photo: A general view shows construction activity on the Grand Renaissance dam in Guba Woreda, Benishangul Gumuz region March 16, 2014. (Photo: Reuters)
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Egypt's Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry has called for overcoming slow progress on implementing decisions concerning a controversial dam Addis Ababa is building on the River Nile during talks with his Ethiopian counterpart Workneh Gebeyehu on Wednesday.

Egypt fears the $4 billion hydroelectric Grand Renaissance Dam would threaten its waters supply, namely with a swift filling of its reservoir.

During a meeting on the sidelines of an African summit, Shoukry called for "overcoming the current slowdown" of the implementation of the outcomes of a meeting held in May between ministers of Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan to iron out differences over the dam project, a foreign ministry statement said.

Shoukry said this will allow progress on technical studies examining the dam's effects, according to a 2015 agreement signed by the three countries over Nile water rights.

Decisions made during May talks, which broke months of deadlock, include setting up a scientific study group to consult the nations on the process of filling the reservoir of the 6,000-megawatt dam and that the leaders of the three nations will meet every six months for consultations.

The statement said Ethiopia promised to address the matter within days.

"The Ethiopian minister has shown interest in finding the appropriate means to move forward with the consultations between the three States...within days," the statement added.

Technical committees from Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan, which backs the project, have not reached a settlement regarding the filling process.

Ethiopia maintains that the 6,000 megawatt dam, which it hopes will make it the continent’s biggest power exporter, will not harm Egypt.

In August, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said the dam, initially planned to be completed by 2020, would be delayed for several years.

 

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