Egypt Denies Excluding Sudan from Dam Talks

Men fish from boats during low tide on the river Nile in Cairo, Egypt, November 19, 2015. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh/File Photo
Men fish from boats during low tide on the river Nile in Cairo, Egypt, November 19, 2015. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh/File Photo
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Egypt Denies Excluding Sudan from Dam Talks

Men fish from boats during low tide on the river Nile in Cairo, Egypt, November 19, 2015. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh/File Photo
Men fish from boats during low tide on the river Nile in Cairo, Egypt, November 19, 2015. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh/File Photo

Egypt’s Foreign Ministry denied on Wednesday reports that Egypt had asked to exclude Sudan from the tripartite negotiations on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, which Ethiopia is building along the Nile River.

Cairo says the dam threatens its historic share of fresh water.

Egyptian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Ahmed Abu Zeid denied the claims circulating on Ethiopian news media that Egypt requested the exclusion of Sudan from negotiations.

“This news is totally false and unfounded” Abu Zeid stressed according to the Egyptian Foreign Ministry website on Facebook.

“On the contrary, the proposal made by Egypt to request the participation of the World Bank as a neutral party in the negotiations of the Tripartite Technical Committee, submitted by Egypt to the Sudanese government --Egypt is waiting for the response of both Ethiopia and Sudan to the proposal, “he added.

The spokesman warned against media circulating false news.

Cairo fears that the construction of the huge Ethiopian renaissance dam will reduce the flow of Nile water, which supplies about 90 percent of Egypt's needs.

In March 2015, the leaders of the three countries signed a memorandum of understanding obliging them to reach consensus through cooperation.

The $5 billion dam, built on the Blue Nile, is expected to become Africa's largest power-generating dam.

The Blue Nile, the largest part of its water in Ethiopia, meets the White Nile in Khartoum to form the Nile that crosses Sudan and Egypt before it flows into the Mediterranean.

In a statement last week, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi stressed the importance of continued communication between Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan on the dam after proposing the participation of experts from the World Bank to resolve the dispute.

During Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry’s December 26 visit to Ethiopia, Egypt submitted a proposal requesting introducing the World Bank as a neutral mediator in negotiations.

The proposal was conveyed in a letter from Sisi to Ethiopian Prime Minister Haile Meriam Desaline, and Egypt awaits the response of both Addis Ababa and Khartoum on the proposal, according to an Abu Zeid press statement on Wednesday.



Iraq Says No Green Light to Turkish Operations in Kurdistan

Smoke billows from a Turkish strike on Iraq's Duhok. (Kurdish media)
Smoke billows from a Turkish strike on Iraq's Duhok. (Kurdish media)
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Iraq Says No Green Light to Turkish Operations in Kurdistan

Smoke billows from a Turkish strike on Iraq's Duhok. (Kurdish media)
Smoke billows from a Turkish strike on Iraq's Duhok. (Kurdish media)

Iraqi Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein said on Friday his country hasn’t given Türkiye the green light to carry out operations in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region.

In televised remarks, he said the Baghdad government needs to hold more “security discussions with Turkish officials, even though it recognizes that the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) is also an Iraqi problem.”

He added that the Turkish army has been deployed in some Iraqi territories since 1991.

The deployment will be discussed during meetings with Turkish officials that will be held soon, he revealed.

Previous discussions with Türkiye did not yield an agreement over the security file, continued the FM. Türkiye is tying its deployment to the presence of the PKK.

Given that the group is present in Iraq, then it must also be dealt with in an “Iraqi way,” he went on to say.

The Turkish military’s incursion of 40 kms inside Iraqi territory had sparked widespread political and popular uproar.

Iraq’s national security council convened to address the issue.

Spokesman of the armed forces Yahya Rasool said the council tackled the Turkish violations and interference in the joint Iraqi-Turkish border regions.

He stressed Baghdad’s rejection of the incursion and undermining of Iraq’s territorial integrity.

Türkiye must respect the principles of good neighborliness and work diplomatically with the Iraqi government and coordinate with it over any security issue, he added.

Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani had dispatched a delegation led by the national security council head to Kurdistan to discuss general affairs and come up with a unified position over Iraq’s sovereignty.