“We must make sure that this great river never becomes an object of competition, mistrust or conflict,” says Ethiopian Prime Minister on his part.

(Reuters)―Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi pledged on Thursday not to let differences over a dam Ethiopia is building on the Nile river ruin relations with Addis Ababa.

Ethiopia hopes the hydroelectric Grand Renaissance Dam (GERD) will make it Africa’s largest power exporter.

Egypt says it threatens its water supply which relies almost exclusively on the Nile that runs from Ethiopia through Sudan and Egypt to the Mediterranean Sea. Addis Ababa says it will have no impact.

Sisi said negotiations with its two African neighbors were progressing and said a deadlock over a disputed, ongoing study on the dam’s impact must end.

“The Nile basin enjoys great resources and capabilities that makes it a source of interconnection, building and development,  not a source of conflict,” Sisi told reporters after meeting Ethiopia’s prime minister, Hailemariam Desalegn, in Cairo.

Hailemariam echoed his comments: “We must make sure that this great river never becomes an object of competition, mistrust or conflict.”

Ongoing dispute

In December, Egypt said it had suggested to Ethiopia and Sudan that they all call in international experts to help settle a dispute on an Ethiopian dam project on the river Nile.

But Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said at the time they had not managed to reach a breakthrough since the three nations last met in November.

“From a practical perspective, we have to recognize that technical deliberations … have not (yielded) sufficient results to enable the process to move forward,” Shoukry told journalists after the December meeting in Addis Ababa.

Continue reading this story at PRI
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