Egypt's president Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi (Reuters)
Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi told the Egyptians on Wednesday not to worry about the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, adding that "matters are fine" in that regard.
"I totally understand the concern of Egyptians as water is a matter of life or death," the Egyptian president said during his Wednesday speech at Farafra oasis during the inauguration of the first phase of a national project to expand the country’s farmland by reclaiming 1.5 million feddans nationwide.
"We already agree with our brothers [the Ethiopians] that they want to live as we want to live," said El-Sisi, adding that the Egyptian and Ethiopian people should achieve their common interests.
"I have not led you astray before and I will not lead you astray now," said El-Sisi, telling the Egyptian people not to lose confidence in him in this matter.
The president's statement comes 24 hours after the agreement reached in Khartoum on Tuesday between Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan regarding a number issues, most importantly a foreign technical firm to conduct impact studies on the dam.
Cairo has repeatedly expressed concerns that filling and operating the dam, which is being built on the Blue Nile, will reduce the supply of Nile water that reaches Egypt.
Ethiopia has rejected these claims, saying that the dam, currently under construction, will not negatively affect the water share of Sudan or Egypt.