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Egypt Shura Council convenes to discuss Ethiopia dam project

Members of parliament's upper house meet with representatives of Egyptian intelligence apparatus, strategic ministries to discuss Ethiopia's Renaissance Dam

Ahram Online, Tuesday 4 Jun 2013
Shura Council
People walk in front of Egypt's Shura Council in Cairo (Photo: Reuters)
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The Shura Council the upper house of Egypt's parliament, currently endowed with legislative powers – held a closed session on Tuesday to discuss the latest developments regarding Ethiopia's controversial Renaissance Dam project.

The meeting, which was closed to journalists, included representatives of the Egyptian intelligence apparatus and strategic ministries, who discussed the issue with members of the Shura Council's national security, African affairs and industry committees.

The outcome of the meeting is expected to be announced in a news conference later on Tuesday.

On Monday, President Mohamed Morsi met with cabinet members to assess the situation following the release of a report submitted by an international technical committee – including Egyptian, Sudanese and Ethiopian representatives – tasked with studying the effects of the Ethiopian dam project.

Following the meeting, a cabinet spokesman announced that the government had adopted a "response" – without elaborating – proposed by Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr.

After meeting with members of the technical committee on Sunday, the presidency declared that the committee's report had failed to provide sufficient information from the Ethiopian government regarding the dam's anticipated impact on Egypt and Sudan.

Last week, Ethiopia began diverting the course of the Blue Nile, one of the Nile River’s two major tributaries, in preparation for the dam's construction. Shortly afterward, Egypt summoned Ethiopian Ambassador Mahmoud Dardir to express its displeasure with the move.

Ethiopia's Renaissance Dam is one of four dams planned along the Blue Nile, which provides Egypt with the lion's share of its annual 55 billion cubic metres of Nile water.

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