Ethiopia said Tuesday that its $4.8 billion hydro dam construction on the Nile will not harm the Egyptian people.
Ethiopian Foreign Minister Workineh Gebeyehu, during a joint news conference with his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukry, said: “The people in Egypt should not have negative feelings.”
He added that Ethiopia had been as transparent as it could in building the dam.
Shoukry said Egyptians were "very concerned” about the effects the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam might have.
Earlier on Tuesday, Shoukry paid a surprise visit to Ethiopia and held a closed door meeting with Gebeyehu.
An early November meeting of water ministers from Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan in Cairo ended, without reaching an agreement on the "inception report" put forth by the international consultant, BRL hired by the three countries to study the impact of the dam.
It has been six years since Ethiopia launched the GERD project, near the Ethiopia-Sudan border.
Ever since this latest unsuccessful meeting, there has been strong word coming from the Egyptian side.
Egypt fears the dam's construction will negatively affect its historical share of Nile water, which -- under a colonial-era water-sharing treaty -- stands at 55.5 billion cubic meters of water per year.
Addis Ababa says electricity generated by the dam -- which was initially slated for completion this year -- will help eradicate poverty and contribute to the country’s development.
By Addis Getachew in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia