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Egypt Seeks World Bank Role in Nile Renaissance Dam Negotiations

Egypt Seeks World Bank Role in Nile Renaissance Dam Negotiations

Wednesday, 27 December, 2017 - 09:00
Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, shakes hands with his counterpart Workneh Gebeyehu, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, December 26, 2017. (MENA)

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry called for the engagement of the World Bank as a “neutral and decisive” party in the work of the tripartite technical committee to discuss the issue of Ethiopia’s under-construction dam on the shared Nile River.

This came during talks held Tuesday in Addis Ababa between Shoukry and his Ethiopian counterpart Workneh Gebeyehu, Egyptian Foreign Ministry’s spokesman Ahmed Abou Zeid said in a statement.

The tripartite technical committee, which includes Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan, has been holding negotiations on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), as Egypt fears that the project would threaten its share of Nile water.

Abou Zeid noted that the Ethiopian minister reiterated his country's commitment “to ensure the success of negotiations and cooperation between the three countries,” adding that Addis Ababa “does not seek to harm Egypt’s water interests.”

“The Ethiopian side promised to study the Egyptian proposal and reply as soon as possible,” said the Egyptian spokesman, noting that Egypt would convey the proposal to Sudan in the coming few days.

Shoukry also met on Tuesday with Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn in Addis Ababa, where they discussed general bilateral relations between the two countries and the preparation for the premier’s visit to Egypt in January 2018.

According to Abou Zeid, “the meeting addressed the challenges facing the course of the GERD negotiations.”

“Shoukry underlined the sensitivity of Egypt’s water security and that it cannot rely on mere promises and remarks of good faith,” he said in a statement.

In September 2016, two French consultancy offices were assigned to conduct technical studies to determine the social, environmental and economic impacts of the construction of the Ethiopian dam.

However, Cairo announced last month that no agreement has been reached over the adoption of the preliminary report on the studies on the effects of Al-Nahda dam on the downstream countries.

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