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Egypt appreciates Ethiopia’s goodwill, insists on technical recommendations

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Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has said that while his country appreciates the goodwill of Ethiopia in protecting their Nile interests, the only viable resolution to the dam stalemate is the completion of technical studies to ascertain the effect of the dam on the Nile waters.

Ethiopia hopes the hydroelectric Grand Renaissance Dam 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 explained that Egypt has never had any problem with development steps in the Nile Basin states as long as they do not harm Egypt’s interests.

“We appreciate Ethiopia’s insistence on not harming Egypt’s water interests, but it is essential that the only way to accomplish this is to complete the required studies and to adhere to its results in order to avoid any adverse effects on the two downstream countries,” Sisi added.

Delegations from Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia met in Cairo in November to approve a study by a French firm commissioned to assess the dam’s environmental and economic impact.

But negotiations stalled when they failed to agree on the initial report with each blaming others for blocking progress.

Hailemariam insists that Ethiopia is acting in the best interests of both countries.

“We will never cause any harm to Egypt, we will do our best to guarantee a decent life to the sons of the Nile River, my country is ready to put end to all the problems between the two countries,” Desalegn said.

Both leaders also agreed on several bilateral legal instruments including the establishment of an Egyptian industrial zone in Ethiopia.

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