Egypt-Ethiopia Talks ‘Overcame Confidence Obstacle’: Minister

Negotiations between Egypt and Ethiopia for the Grand Renaissance Dam have overcome the “obstacle of rebuilding confidence,” Egypt’s irrigation minister said on Tuesday.

Hossam Moghazi told state news agency MENA that President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi’s meeting with Ethiopian PM Hailemariam Desalegn last week in New York and his plans to visit Addis Ababa have “strengthened the ties” between the two states.

Relations between the two countries have been tense as Egypt fears Ethiopia’s large-scale dam on the Nile will affects its water supply. However, recent diplomatic efforts appear to have opened up communication.

Meanwhile, a tripartite meeting between Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan is expected to be held in Cairo on 20-21 October as part of ongoing talks to assess the effects of the dam on Egypt and Sudan’s water supplies.

Moghazi visited the site of the Renaissance Dam last week, the first visit by an Egyptian official to the dam’s construction site.

The tripartite committee agreed during meetings in Sudan’s Khartoum in August to conduct two studies to gauge the effects of Ethiopia’s dam on neighbouring countries.

Meanwhile, Ethiopia has delivered several studies on the safety of the main dam as well as designs of the supplementary dam.

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

Source: Ahram Online