Last Update 23:31

Morsi underlines 'agreement' with Ethiopia over controversial dam

Speaking on a number of issues at the AU summit, President Morsi batted away concerns about the Ethiopian Nile dam project

MENA, Saturday 25 May 2013
Views: 8947
President Mohamed Morsi during his visit to Ethiopia (Photo:Presidency facebook page)

Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi said on Saturday that he had made an agreement with Ethiopia's Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn that both countries' interests would be addressed during the building of the 'Renaissance Dam' in Ethiopia, which many some experts argue will reduce Egypt's share of the Nile’s potable water.

Speaking to Egyptians in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa, where he is currently attending the 21st African Union summit, Morsi stated that there is a committee of experts from both countries that will scrutinise all the details and possible ramifications of the controversial dam.

Morsi also made some optimistic statements concerning the future of the Egypt, saying that the country had left behind dictatorships, repression and corruption, in reference to the Mubarak regime.

"Egypt is on the right track to democratic transition," he said. "What will take Egypt to prosperity and development is work, awareness, and production."

"There are many citizens who work hard silently in all sectors to build this nation, including 17 million citizens in the private sector, six million in the public sector and six million farmers who are working in fields to provide the Egyptian people with a harvest and with food," the Islamist president added.

Suez Canal project ‘will lead to turnaround’                 

Morsi went on to speak about the government’s contentious Suez Canal Corridor (SCC) project, saying it would lead to a turnaround in the country's fortunes.

The SCC project, which will be operated through public-private partnerships, aims to develop Egypt's three canal governorates – Suez, Ismailia and Port Said – by 2017. The project represents a major component of President Morsi's 'renaissance' electoral programme.

"[The project] will attract local, Arab and foreign investments," Morsi said.

Critics of the proposed legislation regulating the project say it will place the Suez Canal outside Egyptian sovereignty and grant investors substantial facilities without offering any returns to workers or the economy.

Rebel campaign ‘undemocratic’

Commenting on the ‘Rebel’ campaign, which aims at "withdrawing confidence" from the Islamist president, Morsi said that those involved in the signature drive should not forget the principle of democracy that the majority choose the president.

"Some people say that I barely got 52 percent of the votes in [last year's] presidential elections [after beating runner up Ahmed Shafiq in the second round], but legally and constitutionally speaking I am the legitimate president."

"Everyone must accept the result of the democratic way, so we do not lose time and miss out on many chances as a result of disagreements."

Campaigners holding posters bearing the word 'Rebel' ('tamarrud' in Arabic) have become a common sight in Cairo's streets and squares in recent days, as have the sight of citizens holding their national identity cards and filling out the forms heeding the campaigners’ calls.

The campaign aims to gather 15 million signatures to pressure Morsi into calling early presidential elections. Organisers claimed at the start of the week to have 3 million signatures so far. 

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28-05-2013 09:18am
help reforst Ethiopian highlands if you care about the long term future of Egypt.
Given the fact that over 85% of Nile water originates from the rain rich Ethiopian highlands, It is not hydro-dams Egypt should worry about but rather lack of rain in ethiopian highlands which will most likely be worsened by energy poverty that will force the ever increasing population in Ethiopian highlands to deforest the region..hence the most farsighted approach for Egypt should be to support Ethiopians in their quest to utilize Nile water for energy generation rather than conspiring against Ethiopians which will be indirect-conspiracy against Egypt itself..God forbid but politicizing a God given shared natural resource will harm Egypt more than any of the upper riparian countries that have little to loose in a worst case scenario..
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27-05-2013 07:20am
Agreement with Ethiopia the roof catchment of Blue Nile
Yes, coming to agreement is wise way of administering or governing properly Egyptian poeple peacefully and keeping their strength for ever, unless selfishness like imperialists country leaders can create susttenable what they call it... in reality fighting for fairness.
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Donville Fernandes
26-05-2013 10:22am
Now Let's Get This AU Show On The Road and Rock !
Fantastic News ! Reference my blog of yesterday for Nile Delta water pollution and my concern for protection of natural water resourcefulness and safety : Egypt food crisis Yes, we don't want to see the Nile Polluted through toxic metals and agri-pesticides created from Industrial and Economical change as evidenced in China and historically, from many other Western and European societies. Let's see some real professional transparent AU dialogue with coherent long-term Nile Valley economic business protectorate guidelines. The source waters of the Nile needs to be strictly protected under improvised AU Treaties. What about the prospect of Nile oil pollution from the Tullow Oil Uganda Operations? We don't want to see another unregulated and disastrous oil pollution zone as in Nigeria West Africa or the BP Gulf of Mexico disaster. So the UK Militia Boys from the Roman Empire are back in the UK. They look well and healthy - thanks to over ten years of the choicest food and other nutritional support extended to them by Egypt (Coptics and Muslims) and many other generous Muslim Mid East countries. So sad to see that UK and US military in Iraq and Afghanistan Ten Year war has exhausted Egyptian national food reserves. Its right for the NGO Muslim Brotherhood to Unionise and protect Egyptian National Pride and return Egypt to its premier role in global economic turnaround. The Glorious Days of Pharonic Egypt's Breadbasket will return but without priviliges bestowed upon the defunct Roman Empire ! Let them use what they have and look to other local markets in their zone as Mid East has to preserve fossil fuel reserves for Centuries of their future generations. Now Let's All Give Praise to God - Allah - Ra !! Egypt NGO Muslim Brotherhood Will enjoy seeing Morsi stretch the AU Thinktak to capacity ! Better for Kerry to recommend Egypt to listen to: HA HA HA- Kiss Kiss
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Hoda Tawakol
26-05-2013 08:06am
Tamarrud is democratic, read Greek history Mr. Morsi!
"Ostracism (Greek: ὀστρακισμός, ostrakismos) was a procedure under the Athenian democracy in which any citizen could be expelled from the city-state of Athens for ten years. It was used as a way of neutralizing someone thought to be a threat to the state or potential tyrant. Citizens scratched the name of a citizen they wished to expel on pottery sherds, and deposited them in urns." (Source: Wikipedia). The Tamarrud movement is based on Ostracism and on the roots of democracy. Morsi's refusal to understand that the ballot box is not the only parameter of democracy reveals his limited understanding of democracy. Egypt has changed, as well as the Egyptians. The Tamarrud movement shows that Egyptians are not ready to be deceived again and that they are aware of Morsi's a) mismanagement and b) attempt, backed and orchestrated by the Muslim Brotherhood, to control the state institutions. The Tamarrud is the REFUSAL of an autocratic system. The Tamarrud makes me proud of Egypt and of being an Egyptian.
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26-05-2013 01:05am
Renaissance dam and Morsi
There is more water in the Nile System than one can anticipate. If cooperation exists the water volume can almost be doubled and used for regional benefit. Egypt's concern of Renaissance Dam crippling Egyptian population is more political than scientific. Scientifically, the legitimate concern and benefit to Egypt is to demand Ethiopia not to stop the construction of the dam but to jointly monitor the filling phase of the dam. The filling phase of the dam must be conducted appropriately and scientifically. There is little significant impact on long term water availability for Egypt.
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25-05-2013 10:53pm
no substance
first, the Ethiopia dam's biggest problem, is that like the Aswan 'high' Dam, and the proposed Qatarra depression inland sea, evaporation will decrease available water by billions of cubic meters. As for Egypt leaving something behind, the new regime wannabe has left behind foreign ('hard') currency from tourism and investment, jobs, hope, freedom of expression, safety-security, monuments-statues-artifacts and all other culture and heritage, peace and unity, while wallowing in nepotism, discrimination, incrimination, recrimination, violence, garbage, incompetence, The Suez canal project will "place the Suez Canal outside Egyptian sovereignty and grant investors substantial facilities without offering any returns to workers or the economy", because a 'free trade zone' is the only way investors would switch from their present locales, to the worst debtor nation in the world (because Ikhwan is the 'solution'!!!).
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27-05-2013 06:19pm
Compared to what you lose at Aswan dam, Egypt will be better off suttinh it down and support the common benefit of the GERD.

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