Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry will visit Addis Ababa next week for talks with his Ethiopian counterpart, a foreign ministry spokesman said, in a bid to finish a standoff over a multi-billion greenback dam mission on the Nile river.
The dispute, which additionally entails Sudan, centres on management of a share of the waters of the Nile that stretches 6,695 km (four,184 miles) from Lake Victoria to the Mediterranean and is the financial lifeblood of all three international locations.
Cairo says the dam would threaten water provides which have fed Egypt’s agriculture and financial system for hundreds of years.
Nobody can contact Egypt’s water … (which) means life or loss of life for a inhabitants.
Ethiopia says the Grand Renaissance Dam, which it hopes will assist make it Africa’s largest energy exporter, could have no main impact on Egypt. It accuses Cairo of flexing its political muscle to discourage financiers from backing different Ethiopian energy initiatives.
Delegations from Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia met in Cairo in November to approve a research by a French agency commissioned to evaluate the dam’s environmental and financial affect.
However negotiations stalled after they did not agree on the preliminary report with every blaming others for blocking progress.
Sudan’s Irrigation Minister Moataz Moussa mentioned Egypt was unwilling to just accept amendments to the report put ahead by Khartoum and Addis Ababa.
Sudan and Ethiopia had expressed concern over a number of factors, particularly the proposed baseline from which the research would measure the dam’s impacts, Moussa mentioned in November.
One other supply of disagreement is whether or not Ethiopia plans to finish development earlier than negotiations over water flows have completed.
“It’s clear they don’t need to attain conclusions rapidly. We consider they in all probability need to begin filling the dam and full development whereas there are nonetheless some ongoing discussions,” mentioned Mahmoud Abou Zeid, Arab Water Council Chair and former Egyptian irrigation minister.
He mentioned this could violate an settlement signed by all three international locations in Khartoum in 2015 meant to make sure diplomatic cooperation and stem fears of a useful resource battle.
Cairo fears the 6,000-megawatt dam, being constructed by Italy’s largest development agency, Salini Impregilo SpA, and due for completion subsequent yr, will scale back the stream it relies on for consuming water and irrigation.
Egyptian officers say safeguarding the nation’s quota of Nile water is a matter of nationwide safety.
“Nobody can contact Egypt’s water … (which) means life or loss of life for a inhabitants,” President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi mentioned final month.