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World Ethiopia tells U.N. 'no intention' of using dam to harm Egypt, Sudan

00:35  26 september  2020
00:35  26 september  2020 Source:   reuters.com

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Ethiopia had always said it would fill the dam in July, while Egypt had warned it to delay while talks continued. It remains unclear whether Ethiopia has done anything to speed up the process of filling Sudan has previously said it has noticed a drop in the flow of water on the Blue Nile in its territory.

"We don't have any intention to harm Sudan or Egypt ," Ahmed told reporters in Khartoum after meeting Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir. Ethiopia began building the -billion dam (R50 billion) in 2012, but the mega project has triggered tensions primarily with Egypt as Cairo fears that

By Michelle Nichols

a man wearing a suit and tie smiling and looking at the camera: FILE PHOTO: Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed speaks during a media conference at the Elysee Palace in Paris © Reuters/POOL FILE PHOTO: Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed speaks during a media conference at the Elysee Palace in Paris

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed told the United Nations on Friday that his country has "no intention" of harming Sudan and Egypt with a giant hydropower dam on the Blue Nile that has caused a bitter water dispute between the three countries.

Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan failed to strike a deal on the operation of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam before Ethiopia began filling the reservoir behind the dam in July. But the three states have returned to African Union-led mediation.

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Ethiopia 's new prime minister, Abiy Ahmed, said on May 3 in Khartoum, after a meeting with Omar Al Bashir, the Sudanese president, that Ethiopia had no intention of harming Sudan or Egypt with its dam . The new scientific committee, made up of independent experts from the universities of the three

Egypt , Sudan and Ethiopia have agreed to set up a scientific committee to study a dam Ethiopia is building on a tributary of the Nile, an Ethiopian minister The announcement broke a long impasse in a dispute over Egyptian fears that the -billion (3.2-billion-euro) Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam

"I want to make it abundantly clear that we have no intention to harm these countries," he told the 193-member U.N. General Assembly in a video statement, pre-recorded due to the coronavirus pandemic.

"We are steadfast in our commitment to addressing the concerns of downstream countries and reaching a mutually beneficial outcome in the context of the ongoing AU-led process," Nobel Peace Laureate Abiy said.

Negotiations have previously faltered over a demand from Egypt and Sudan that any deal should be legally binding, over the mechanism for resolving future disputes, and over how to manage the dam during periods of reduced rainfall or drought.

Egypt says it is dependent on the Nile for more than 90% of its scarce fresh water supplies, and fears the dam could have a devastating effect on its economy.

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“We don’t have any intention to harm Sudan or Egypt ,” Ahmed told reporters in Khartoum after meeting Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir. Ethiopia began building the -billion dam in 2012, but the mega project has triggered tensions primarily with Egypt as Cairo fears that once

“We don’t have any intention to harm Sudan or Egypt ,” Ahmed told reporters in Khartoum after meeting Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir. Ethiopia began building the -billion dam in 2012, but the mega project has triggered tensions primarily with Egypt as Cairo fears that once

Abiy told the United Nations that the project contributes to the conservation of water resources, "which would otherwise have been lost to evaporation in downstream countries."

"What we are essentially doing is to meet our electricity demands from one of the cleanest sources of energy. We cannot afford to continue keeping more than 65 million of our people in the dark," he said.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi expressed his concern about the project when he addressed the United Nations on Tuesday.

"The Nile River must not be monopolized by one state. For Egypt the Nile water is an existential matter. This, however, does not mean that we want to undermine the rights of our brothers and sisters, sharing with us the Nile basin," he said.

"Nevertheless, it is unacceptable for the negotiations to continue forever in an attempt to impose the realities on the ground," Sisi said.

(Reporting by Michelle Nichols; Editing by Alistair Bell)

Congress must support Sudan's transition .
Khartoum has emerged as an ally fighting terrorism, cracking down on terrorist financing through anti-money laundering laws and policies. De-listing Sudan as an SST will have a huge impact on the country's progress and reintegration into the international system, making Sudan a stable security partner at the crossroads of Africa and the Middle East. Sudan has done its part. Now Congressional action is needed to remove Sudan from the SST list and facilitate Sudan's integration into the international community.On Sept. 14, a bipartisan group of U.S.

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