Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia to meet on Nile waters by end of August

Ahram Online , Sunday 11 Aug 2013

The anticipated meeting is expected to be held but not before the end of the current month

In this photo made Tuesday, April 2, 2013, shows the construction of the dam in Asosa Region Ethiopia. (Photo; Reuters)

Negotiations for holding the long-anticipated meeting between Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia to discuss the latter's Grand Renaissance Nile Dam Project are still ongoing, Egypt's ambassador to Addis Ababa said.

Ambassador Mohamed Idris denied recent media reports that the meeting is set to take place within days. However, he told Al-Ahram Arabic news website that it is expected to be held before the end of August in any of the three countries.

Earlier in July, Egypt's foreign ministry expressed its "deep concern" that the Ethiopian government had not yet responded to the Egyptian invitation to discuss the dispute over the planned dam project.

Egypt's Irrigation Minister Mohamed Abd El-Motteleb received Ethiopia's ambassador to Cairo Mahmoud Dirir late in July and discussed the issue, asserting the importance of holding the awaited meeting.  

In June, the three countries agreed to start negotiations on recommendations made by an international technical committee on the dam project, after Egypt's former foreign minister Mohamed Kamel Amr visited Ethiopia and Sudan to discuss the issue.

Ethiopia's planned $4.2 billion hydro-electric dam on the Blue Nile has been a source of concern for the Egyptian government, which fears that the project, if completed, could negatively impact the volume of Nile water reaching Egypt.

Sudan, another downstream country, could also be affected by the dam.

According to Egypt's National Planning Institute, Egypt will require an additional 21 billion cubic metres of water per year by 2050, on top of its current annual allotment, to meet the needs of a projected population of 150 million.

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