Procrastination in Nile water negotiations not acceptable, says Egypt’s FM

Ahram Online

24 March 2014

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Egyptian Minister of Foreign Affairs Nabil Fahmy told the Kuwaiti News Agency KUNA Saturday that Egypt will not accept procrastination in negotiations with Ethiopia regarding the Nile water.

“There is no solution to Egypt’s Nile water problems, which are linked to both Ethiopia and Sudan, without collaboration between the two nations,” said Fahmy speaking of Egypt-Ethiopia ties.

Ninety-five per cent of Egypt’s water resources depend on the Nile river, said Fahmy, explaining that even if the country was to preserve water or use desalination techniques, the Nile would still remain the main source for Egypt’s water.

Ethiopia’s planned Grand Renaissance Dam is expected to be the largest hydroelectric dam in the continent, with 16 turbines, two of which would generate 375mw of power each.

The dam has been a source of concern to Egypt as it worries its share of Nile waters would be negatively impacted.

Both Egypt and Ethiopia have engaged in negotiations on the dam to no avail, with Ethiopia insisting the dam won’t affect Egypt’s water supply and Egypt arguing that not enough research has been conducted on the possible impact of the dam.

Meanwhile, regarding Egypt’s ties with Sudan — which declared its support to Ethiopia’s dam — Fahmy said the strong ties between the two African states is only a normal result of historical developments between the two.

“We may disagree on dealing with matters on the short term, but on the longer term we agree on so many things, including development, security and the water issue,” said Fahmy.

During his interview with KUNA, Fahmy also spoke on several regional matters.

On the future of the Egyptian-Iranian ties, which were briefly revived under the rule of former president Mohamed Morsi, Fahmy said that the best solution for differences between the two countries “is through dialogue,” adding that Iran must resolve its tensioned ties with Gulf Cooperation Council states.

He added that Egypt has no problem with Turkey, but rather with “specific people in Turkey.”

Egypt severed its ties with Turkey last November in protest at Ankara’s continued criticism of the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi.


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