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Ethiopia dam talks to resume Monday - Daily News Egypt

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Ethiopia dam talks to resume Monday

Water and foreign ministry official to discuss “sticking points” in GERD talks


Egyptian Water Minister Mohamed Abdul Muttalib listens during tripartite talks about Ethiopia's Great Renaissance Dam on January 4, 2014 in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum. The talks are being attended by the irrigation ministers of Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan and are set to last for three days.  (AFP PHOTO EBRAHIM HAMID)
Egyptian Water Minister Mohamed Abdul Muttalib listens during tripartite talks about Ethiopia’s Great Renaissance Dam on January 4, 2014 in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum.

Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation Mohamed Abdul Muttalib will head a delegation to Addis Ababa on Monday to continue talks regarding the construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).

Muttalib accepted an invitation from his Ethiopian counterpart Alemayehu Tegunu to discuss the “sticking points” regarding the construction of the GERD, which Egypt fears could have a detrimental impact upon its water supply.

Sudan, which is also an interested party in these talks, will not be represented at the meeting in the Ethiopian capital. Spokesman for the Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation Khaled Wassif told Daily News Egypt that this “is usual” because there are issues for Ethiopia and Egypt to discuss bilaterally. He stressed the importance of “direct contact” at this time.

Wassif said that one of the “sticking points” that remains is the difference of opinion regarding the formation of a committee to oversee the implementation of recommendations of a report detailing confidence-building measures concerning the dam and its affect on downstream nations.

 “We insist on including international experts in the committee, but they [Ethiopia] only wants to include representatives from the three countries [Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan],” said Wassif. The three countries agreed in December to form the committee, however the last trilateral meeting at the start of January ended with no agreement reached.

Muttalib will be joined in Ethiopia with other representatives from his ministry as well as representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The minister has said previously that “Egypt’s firm position on the issue of the GERD… does not conflict at all with the Ethiopian government’s desire to increase development and achieve the aspirations of the Ethiopian people in raising the standard of living.” He added that these are “legitimate aspirations” that can be achieved without harming Egypt’s water share.

Ethiopia began diverting water form one of the River Nile’s tributaries in May 2013, prompting concern in Egypt and Sudan over the affect the electricity generating dam could have on the water supply to downstream countries.

Last week Muttalib suggested that Ethiopia build two smaller dams to ensure there is as little impact as possible on the flow of water. The Minister of State for Antiquities Affairs Moahemd Ibrahim also expressed concern least week over the potential impact the dam could have on Egypt’s antiquities due to the potential lowering of water levels that could contribute to the cracking of some monuments.

Egypt has historically claimed the lion’s share of the Nile waters as per agreements signed in 1929 and 1959 guaranteeing Egypt 55.5bn cubic metres of water annually of the estimated total of 84bn cubic metres.

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  • Al Masry

    Al Masry:
    Smart move for Egypt to start defending Ethiopian brothers’ best interest against organized thievery. We have common culture since eternity, kind people (Nubians and Ethiopians), and even share common faith. Egypt must conserve water and clear out its irrigation canal from water lilies to save 15-17% of water. I love Ethiopian spicy food. LOL.

    • ZakSai

      So much water is wasted in Egypt, it is a ‘ crime against humanity’. Egyptian farmers don’t even utilise drip irrigation which is customary in arid regions of the World. Mango, rice and sugar cane shouldn’t be cultivated at all in Egypt. Egypt, as you stated above, isnt even considering any conservation measures. They just want to keep on their practice frm the days of the Pharos. This is ‘ unsustainable’ be there a Dam in Ethipia or not.

  • Al Masry

    I am very concerned about the effect of the lake behind the dam in triggering cataclysmic earthquake along the African Rift. the presence of shallow lake will be invitation for the spread of tropical diseases.
    Did commonsense ceased to exist in Egypt and Ethiopia? YES!

    • Yelayal Zendero

      How much did Egypt and Arabs paid you to give this unscientific discourse? Ethiopia is prepared for the worst- if there is war it will be concluded in an hour. It does not take 6 days like the Arab/that includes Egypt-Israel War.

      • Al Masry

        Hateful and ungrateful. Egypt is the crown jewel of Africa and the birth place of human religion and civilization. Queen Sheba will be ashamed of you.

    • Ethiopian Observer

      These ideas are the dream of Egyptian, and their tactic to create bad image on the Dam

  • Al Masry

    Wrong Image:
    Why Egyptian delegate did not include some of bright Ethiopian and Nubian engineers?
    As standard protocol, the podium should have the Egyptian and Ethiopian flags.

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  • Jasmine

    Same old same old…I don’t except to see objectivity from Egyptian officials anymore…they are confused. They are desperately stretching as far as they can to delegitimize Nile water use upstream states…a sure sign of last breath of its Nile hegemony.

    • GUEST

      Correction, Ethiopia did not invited the irrigation minister, rather Egypt requested a meeting with Ethiopian counter part. Read Friday edition Reporter Ethiopia.
      Egypt should sign the Nile basin agreement agreement and reach equitable sharing with all Nile basin Nations, that is the one and the only one option Egypt has.
      the other options Egypt talking about are a pipe dreams

  • Ana Haile

    Ethiopia should never ever trust Egypt.they are trying to distruct us.even the new leader al-sisi is just a young version of Mubarak who has been bleeding us for decades when he was on power.a few months a ago i heard one top European diplomat saying ‘because of the renaissans dam there will be a regional conflict in the coming years’ we better prepare ourselves not to hurt anyone but to defend our motherland.GOD BLESS ETHIOPIA!!!

  • Ethiopian Observer

    I think what Egyptian politician trying is to confuse world and pretend as if the cooperative. The first indication is in their constitution they said Nile water belongs to Egypt and others are beggars on their own land.The most amazing thing is they thinking that others to respect what they claim their “historical right” which gives Egypt 100% right and authority on other state resource. If they do not come out of this old thinking, it is just waste of time to discuss with them. Ethiopian position is clear and straight:
    1.We don’t have any agenda of hurting anybody
    2. Use the resource on equitable bases
    3. We do not need anyone to decide to us (such as 2 small dam… bla’bala..)
    4. We will not be intimidate by anyone.
    5. Last and for most we do not thrust Egyptians for a seconds.

    • Al Masry

      I do not dispute Ethiopia of Uganda repairman water rights. Egypt has beneficial and appropriative water rights and is willing to work in concert with other nations to protect and develop its water resources.
      I am convinced the proposed dam is against your best interest and will never be profitable. FYI, there are new turbines technologies that will generate electricity from Lake Tarnaka and Machison Fall, Uganda. It does not require water dams; but use water velocity along rivers’ narrows.
      Q: How do you feel if Uganda cut water supply from Ethiopia? Did you drive along HWy 3 iand see how much farm land will be covered under the shallow reservoir lake? Several thousands of good farmers will lose their good farmland my friend.

      • abraham defar

        HEY Al Masry do you know about what you are tallking.

        • Al Masry

          Yep. It is my profession. I am working on NO Dam turbines that driven by water speed along river narrows and natural water falls.

          • Ethiopian Observer

            It’s not new thing! The question is how are you going to produce energy all year around in river system like Nile, were 4 month flow is greater than the remaining 8 months?

      • Ethiopian Observer

        I think weather the dam is fits our best interest or not is our business not Egyptians. Regarding cutting the water supply: Unfortunately we do not take any water from nile basin countries. We have 122 BCM surface water, out of which 73 BCM water goes to Nile basin. The remaining to Kenya, Somalia and others, only 3BCM remains in Ethiopia so far. Now we need our fair and equitable share from each basin. The bases sharing water is based on equitable and fair share, weather it cut or not.

        • Al Masry

          Good News: Do you know that because of global Warming; the Nile source water from rain is increasing every year. Rivers that depends on Alpine glacial like China’s Yellow River is decreasing because of decrease in snow.
          Did the engineering firm developed “Feasibility Study report? Did it considered all the positives and negatives of the project? It is serious business.

          • Ethiopian Observer

            You are wrong! The recent improvement is due to the conservation work done in Upstream, especially i Ethiopia.

  • Amora k

    Another the same old ,nonsense , predicted move by Egyptian.
    What else options do you think you had other than to sit-tight and bring your concerns to all parties concerned?

    Please Egyptians forget everything about the past and use some common sense. Its practically impossible to bully Ethiopia. so its highly recommended if you leave your 19 century tricks back in Cairo and solve your issues before Ethiopia gives you the the middle finger.

    MY advice to the Ethiopian government:
    As soon as Egyptians arrive in Bole airport, hand them “Entebbe agreement” and make them sign it. That’s a must sign document before any further talks. Any attempt to talk without that will be futile as usual.

  • tesfay haile

    Just talk no change between Ethiopia and Egypt about Nile issue we continue bulid dam and Egypt dream with historical right hahahaha …….. What they gonna do time to tell we know world power stand beside interest no justices on the ground so called UN all fake but God with us we defend our dam

  • Okello

    It’s just another attempt by Egypt to saber rattle. Well, if Egypt believes Nile should belong to the one with bigger military muscle, it may regret it in the future. What if the African nations get super militarized? Even at this point, Egypt’s advantage is not so obvious.

  • Zemen2

    This invitation by the Ethiopian government does not pass the sniff test. It smells like they are willing to give up our rights, or something important. They know that if Egypt supports the Ethiopian people (opposition) they will lose their power, something they will maintain at all costs, national interest or otherwise. The simple thing for the Ethiopian government to do is to create a national consensus and build the dam. We can do this without asking Egypt for nothing, we can raise the funds! All we need is unity! Sadly the Ethiopian side is interested in one thing, maintain power by a minority.

    • abraham defar

      Zemen what do you mean by National consensus

      • Al Masry

        All Nile nations should come together and declare their equal right and determination of the Majestic Nile. It gives all of us life every day.

  • ZakSai

    This is a ‘ circus’ and i say ‘ enough is enough’. Let General Sisi travel to Addis and tells us what is ‘ rolling in his mind’. We will, at minimum, have an idea or two about Egyptian policy. We know well what lies ahead for General Sisi is trying to be Nassir. Ethiopia has every right to use the waters of the Nile for it is ‘ Ethiopian’ by origin. General Sisi secured billions of dollars from Saudi and Emriatis to buy armament from Russia. He has bagged close to ten billions from them to stay in power. He can approach these retards who used to roam the Arabian desert along with their camels for a couple more billions for desalnation plants and they will gladly furnish him the funds after all they have many mistresses in Cairo and Alexandria

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  • Al Masry

    In a nutshell, the dam is not capable to generate 1,200 megawatts/year based on engineering/scientific facts during it limited useful life of 40-50 years. My Ethiopian brothers/sisters will be holding empty bag full of debt. The reservoir will cover large area of present farmland and spread diseases (malaria, etc.).

    • abraham defar

      this what egyptian dreams all days and night about Ethiopia

    • Ethiopian Observer

      What are the evidence that the dam can not produce 1200MW? I know why all Egyptian refer this Number, they took it from 1964 US department of reclamation feasibility study. I need to tel u two things:1. In 1964 study the proposed dam generate 1200MW, and 14 BCM of water. But the annual flow is 54 BCM, four times the proposed one.
      2 that study was based on 20 th century knowledge

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  • Al Masry

    I agree 100%Z+ that Egypt with its backward society and ignorance are wasting precious water resources. Egypt should come up with plan to conserve water and prioritize its agri, urban and industrial use.

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  • Al Masry

    To: Ethiopian observer:
    No more discussions. Your comments are always irrational and carry blind hatred. Is there any ethipian engineer or scientist wanna talk?

  • Al Masry

    We need to work together to protect and develop the Nile basin. We share common destiny and obligations to each other since eternity. Please no racial remarks and hateful thoughts.

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