July 22, 2013

Egyptian interim top diplomat urges Ethiopia to discuss Nile dam

Egypt’s newly designated Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy says the country is seeking a negotiated settlement for its conflicts with Ethiopia over the Nile.
A picture taken on May 28, 2013 shows the Blue Nile in Guba, Ethiopia, during its diversion ceremony.
A picture taken on May 28, 2013 shows the Blue Nile in Guba, Ethiopia, during its diversion ceremony.

Fahmy, also a former Egyptian ambassador to the United States, stated in a televised press conference in Cairo on Saturday that the North African country has urged Ethiopia to discuss the disputed Nile dam.

This comes while Addis Ababa has yet to respond to the issue, worrying Cairo deeply over the Ethiopians’ reaction.

“We will take action to guarantee the water security of Egypt and preserve our rights in the waters of the Nile,” Fahmy said during the conference, adding, “We call on the Ethiopian side to respond.”

In May, Ethiopia announced it had begun diverting the flow of the Blue Nile for the construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance dam – a USD 4.2-billion hydroelectric plant.

The issue of Ethiopian dam sparked outrage in Egypt with fears that the Nile dam would cause serious water shortage in the country.

On June 11, ousted Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi warned Ethiopian leaders that “all options are open on the table” if the dam over Nile jeopardizes the country’s water security.

This is while the opponents of Mohamed Morsi have accused him of having no proper plan for tackling the Ethiopian dam project.

Egyptian interim foreign ministers made his remarks just four days after he was sworn into office, following the overthrow of Mohamed Morsi on July 3.

Fahmy, during the press conference, also stressed the change in the country’s relations with Syria, saying the new government in Cairo would reevaluate its ties with Damascus.

Agencies

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