Ethiopia PM meets Sisi as Egypt seeks mutual cooperation

Ethiopia PM meets Sisi as Egypt seeks mutual cooperation

A video shows the Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali vowing that his country will not do any harm to the Egyptian water, as both countries are having a crisis over the construction of an Ethiopian dam on the Nile River. But at a press conferee in Cairo, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi signaled they had made a breakthrough.

"We will take care of the Nile and we will preserve your share and we will work to increase this quota and President Sisi and I will work on this", Ahmed said, addressing Egyptians. River Nile and Ethiopia's Grand Renaissance Dam project, which has been a controversial issue between to two countries for the last few years, is also expected to be in the agenda for discussion between the two leaders.

Egypt and Ethiopia fend off water wars over Nile mega-dam
Ethiopia PM meets Sisi as Egypt seeks mutual cooperation

"We have come a long way in building confidence and strengthening bilateral cooperation", Sisi said, reports Reuters.

Ethiopia denies that the dam will hurt Egypt's water supplies.

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In May, the irrigation ministers of all three countries that share the Nile agreed to set up a study group on how the dam would be filled and meet once every six months to discuss the situation. Ethiopia, which has roughly same population size, says the dam is essential for its economic development.

"I believe the visit is exploratory and it is meant to ensure previous understandings and create new ones", the expert added, noting that Ethiopia has already completed 65 percent of the dam construction.

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"Cairo's weak hand and inability to gain sufficient leverage over Addis Ababa will force it to coordinate dam operations if it wishes to have input on future Nile River projects", it said.

Egypt has received the lion's share of the Nile's waters under decades-old agreements seen by other Nile basin nations as unfair. Ethiopian authorities responded to what was then understood as a form of "threat of war" in like fashion asserting that The Grand Renaissance Dam, estimated to cost well over US$ 5 billion, is a matter of life and death.

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Sudan appears to be taking Ethiopia's side in the negotiations, and has revived a longstanding border dispute with Egypt.

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