Egypt says consultancy firms behind failure to reach agreement on Ethiopia dam

Ahram Online , Thursday 17 Dec 2015

The Egyptian FM spokesperson stressed that officials will not give up on Egypt's water security and that Sudan, Ethiopia and Egypt will reach an accord in the upcoming round of talks

Ahmed Abu Zeid
Foreign ministry spokesman Ahmed Abu Zeid (Al-Ahram)

Spokesperson for the Egyptian Foreign Ministry Ahmed Abu Zeid told reporters on Thursday that the French and Dutch consultancy firms working on Ethiopia's Renaissance Dam were the reason no agreement was reached in the latest talks, MENA reported.

"The last tripartite meeting – between the irrigation and foreign ministers of Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia – was crucial as the two firms stumbled in reaching an agreement," Abu-Zeid said.

He also stressed that Egypt hopes that the three countries will reach a consensus in the upcoming round of talks, due to take place in the Sudanese capital Khartoum on 27 and 28 December.

"The anxiety that Egyptians feel towards this issue is legitimate, but we should not take this to another level; officials will not give up on Egypt's water security," says Abu Zeid.

The official stressed that the Ethiopian side is keen to put into consideration the impact studies of the dam, stressing that they are of a common interest to all three countries.  

Sudanese Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour said he believes an agreement between the countries could be reached in the upcoming round of talks.

The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, scheduled to be completed in 2017, will be Africa's largest hydroelectric power plant with a storage capacity of 74 billion cubic metres of water.

Egypt has repeatedly expressed concerns that filling and operating the dam on the Blue Nile will negatively affect its water supply. Ethiopia has continually rejected these claims.

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