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'Egypt will not allow any country to impose its will on another in Ethiopian dam issue,' FM says

Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan have been engaging in talks since 2014 to reach a final agreement on operating the Renaissance dam, which Egypt fears could reduce its share of Nile water

Menna Alaa El-Din , Tuesday 17 Sep 2019
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Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said on Tuesday that Egypt will not allow any one party involved in the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam issue to impose its will on another.

In a press conference with his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian in Cairo, Shoukry said that he hopes the upcoming meetings regarding the dam issue will be fruitful and lead to concrete outcomes.

Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan have been engaging in talks since 2014 to reach a final agreement on operating the Renaissance dam, which Egypt fears could reduce its share of Nile water.

"We expressed our wish for mediation or intervention by any technical body in a way that serves the interests of the concerned countries as well as provides opportunities for development and protects the interests of downstream countries given the importance of the Nile as a vital source for water," he said.  

Shoukry said that the disagreements over the dam issue are technical and should not be taken as political in nature.

Stumbling blocks

The Egyptian foreign minister's statements come one day after Egypt said that talks held in Cairo with Ethiopia and Sudan to discuss the dam issue were "stumbling."

The round of talks on the technical operation of the dam held over the past two days ended with Ethiopia refusing to discuss Egypt and Sudan's proposals on filling and operating the dam.

New meetings are set to be held next month in an attempt to reach a breakthrough.

The filling of the reservoir could have a major effect on the share of water reaching the downstream countries of Egypt and Sudan. Addis Ababa has suggested that the dam's reservoir be filled over three years, while Egypt is requesting a period of seven years.

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