Sudan denies calling for Arab League intervention in Nile dam crisis

Ahram Online , Wednesday 29 May 2013

Sudan's foreign ministry claims negotiations are ongoing with Ethiopia to solve current impasse over construction of dam

Sudan denied reports circulated Tuesday that the Sudanese ambassador to Egypt, Kamal Hassan Ali, had called for the Arab League to intervene on the issue of a new dam being constructed by Ethiopia on the Blue Nile.    

Ethiopia on Tuesday began diverting the course of the Blue Nile, one of the Nile River’s two major tributaries, as part of its project to build a new dam for electricity production.

The move, called "historic" by Ethiopian government spokesperson Bereket Simon, has prompted criticism from downstream Egypt, since the step could negatively affect the country’s water quota.

A Wednesday statement by the Republic of Sudan's foreign ministry denied that Ali had mentioned Sudan's "shock" about Tuesday’s events, as previously reported.

Moreover, the statement further stated that negotiations were ongoing in an attempt to solve the crisis.

The Blue Nile provides Egypt with the lion's share of its annual 55 billion cubic metres of river water.

According to the state-run National Planning Institute, Egypt will need an additional 21 billion cubic metres of water per year by 2050 – on top of its current quota of 55 billion metres – to meet the needs of a projected population of 150 million.

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