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Bashir tells Sisi 'Sudan keen to not harm Egypt' in dam saga

Ahram Online , Sunday 31 Jan 2016
Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir attends the African Union (AU) Peace and Security Council in Addis Ababa on January 29, 2016. (Photo: AFP)
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Sudan is keen to not cause harm to Egypt's interests regarding the controversial Renaissance Dam, Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir told Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi on the sidelines of the African Union Summit in Ethiopia's Addis Ababa on Saturday.

Al-Bashir added that Sudan stands by Egypt, noting the pioneering role that Egypt has played throughout history in defending the capabilities of Arab nations.

In statements by Egyptian presidency spokesman Alaa Youssef, El-Sisi affirmed during the meeting Egypt's appreciation of the close historic relationship with Sudan, asserting the importance of developing different fields of cooperation that would benefit people of both countries.

The meeting between the two presidents comes following media reports that El-Sisi is expected to hold talks with his counterparts from Sudan and Ethiopia over Addis Ababa's controversial Renaissance Dam plans during the summit.

Although Egypt has repeatedly expressed concern over the dam's possible effect on the country, Ethiopia insists it will not negatively affect Egypt's share of Nile water.

Sudan has continuously said that it was not playing the role of mediator between Egypt and Ethiopia as the "dam is not located in Sudan."

In December 2015, Al-Bashir said in a TV interview that the Ethiopian Renaissance dam has become a reality and that it requires the cooperation of all parties to "ensure its success."

In the same month, El-Sisi addressed the public saying that there is no reason to worry about the dam and that the matter would be resolved.

However, El-Sisi added that, "I totally understand the concern of Egyptians as water is a matter of life or death."

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