Middle East, Africa

Egypt-Ethiopia dam talks to resume after govt formation

Ethiopian PM Hailemariam Desalegn resigned last month amid ongoing political crisis

Ekip   | 02.04.2018
Egypt-Ethiopia dam talks to resume after govt formation

Egypt

CAIRO

Talks between Egypt and Ethiopia over a controversial hydroelectric dam that that the latter is building on the Nile River will resume once a new government is drawn up in Adis Ababa, Egyptian Irrigation Minister Mohamed Abdel Aty said Monday.

“Egypt is not opposed to development efforts in Sudan and Ethiopia,” Abdel Aty was quoted as saying in Egyptian state media, going on to describe the Nile water issue as one of “national security”.

Earlier Monday, Abiy Ahmed Ali was sworn in as Ethiopia’s new prime minister following a meeting of parliament.

On Feb. 15, Hailemariam Desalegn resigned from both the premiership and the country’s ruling party amid a lingering political crisis.

In 2011, the Ethiopian government began construction of the Grand Renaissance Dam on the Blue Nile (a tributary of the Nile River) near the border with Sudan.

In the seven years since, Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan have held several rounds of talks on the dam’s anticipated impact on Nile water resources.

Addis Ababa says electricity generated by the dam -- which was originally slated for completion this year -- will help eradicate poverty and contribute to the country’s development.

Egypt, however, fears the dam could adversely affect its historical share of Nile water as defined in a colonial-era water-sharing treaty.

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