Ethiopia: Is Egypt itching for war?


By Ahram Online
Posted to the web on May 14, 2014

May 14, 2014 (CAIRO) –– Egypt has repeatedly called for negotiations with Ethiopia over the Grand Renaissance Dam but has not received a real response, Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy said.

Fahmy, in an interview with Al-Ahram newspaper published on Wednesday, said that Egypt would not forget the issue.

The under-construction dam is situated near the Sudanese border on the Blue Nile, a Nile tributary. It is set to be the biggest hydroelectric dam in Africa, producing as much as 6,000 megawatts of energy.

Egypt has repeatedly expressed its concern that the dam will affect its share of Nile water. Ethiopia insists this will not happen.

We believe that Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan will benefits from reaching solutions through negotiations, Fahmy added.

From this standpoint, Fahmy added, he had met with the Ethiopian foreign minister a month ago, where Fahmy presented some initial ideas, but is yet to receive a response from Ethiopia.

Fahmy’s comment contradicts Ethiopian statements that have previously called for dialogue after tripartite talks between the two countries and Sudan reached a stalemate.

In late April, Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn invited Egypt and Sudan for another round of tripartite talks, while in March the Ethiopian foreign minister said his country was adamant about holding talks with Egypt.

Fahmy also said that previous negotiations were held in three stages but “unfortunately didn’t show an indication for positive development.”

Last year, Ethiopia and five other Nile Basin countries – Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya and Burundi – endorsed an accord, the Co-operative Framework Agreement, which replaces a 1929 treaty granting Egypt veto power over any project on the Nile in upstream countries.

Sudan, Egypt's immediate downstream country, has backed Ethiopia's plans to build the dam.

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     

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