Italy and EU willing to meditate dam strife: Italian ambassador

MENA, Thursday 13 Jun 2013

Egypt's Italian ambassador denies government ties to private Italian firm constructing Ethiopia's Renaissance Dam, announces commitment to Egyptian interests

Italy and the EU are willing to meditate Egypt and Ethiopia's Renaissance Dam strife, said Maurizio Massari, the Italian ambassador to Egypt, on Thursday.

Massari extended the gesture in a meeting with Hamdeen Sabahi, leader of the Egyptian Popular Current. The ambassador confirmed Italy's commitment to Egyptian interests and emphasized the deep ties between Egypt and Italy.

The Grand Renaissance Dam, which is being built by an Italian firm, will be the largest in the continent. The Italian ambassador was quick to deny any ties between the Italian government and the private firm constructing the dam.  

Egypt has been trying to tone down its rhetoric regarding the dam after a meeting between the president and a number of political figures was accidently broadcast live on state television. During the meeting, some attendees advised hostility towards Ethiopia, including airstrikes and sabotaging the dam.

Ethiopia's diversion of the Blue Nile in late May set off alarm bells in Cairo, which is unsure how the dam will affect their water share of the Nile.



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