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Ethiopian Ambassador: War With Egypt Is Not A Choice, Both Sides Cannot Afford the Costs

Ethiopian Ambassador: War With Egypt Is Not A Choice, Both Sides Cannot Afford the Costs

Sunday, 17 November, 2019 - 07:45
Dina Mufti (ENA)

Ethiopian Ambassador to Egypt, Dina Mufti told Asharq Al-Awsat on Saturday that any misunderstanding between Egypt and Ethiopia should be solved peacefully.

“War is not a choice… We cannot afford its costs, we don’t need it because it is an unfruitful means, particularly that we possess enough tension is this part of the world,” the Ambassador said.

Mufti spoke to Asharq Al-Awsat for almost an hour from his office at the embassy in Cairo, which lies around 500 meters away from the Nile River Cornish. The Ambassador looked both optimistic and cautious. However, he was enthusiastic and attached to what he described as “the right to the development” of his country.

Last month, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed allegedly gave provocative statements regarding the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, in which he warned that his country could ready millions of people in case a war broke out over the dam, driving shock in Cairo.

“The statements were misunderstood by the media,” Mufti said.

Ethiopia admits that the cost of the Renaissance Dam construction is about $4 million, hoping it becomes the largest African source of electricity primarily designed to generate power with an expected capacity of 6,000MW.

Mufti said Ethiopia hopes that this dam would help support Addis Ababa’s plan to face “the undermined development,” including population growth, not only in his country, but also in several developing states where the youth generation is largely increasing amid a lack of employment opportunities.

While Ethiopia considers the Renaissance Dam a priority, Egypt states it is attached to the fact that all Nile Valley countries have a right to economic development. However, Cairo insists that this policy should not affect “its interests and rights in the Nile,” particularly that Egypt relies on the River to cover more than 90 percent of its needs.

Mufti said the Renaissance Dam would protect the water from evaporating and it would help decrease the accumulation of slit, which engenders Ethiopia considerable costs.

“The Dam would generate electricity. As Egypt always assert that it does not object the development of Ethiopia, we will not object Cairo’s interests,” the Ambassador said.

Mufti expressed no objections to the US role in the technical negotiations between Sudan, Egypt, and Ethiopia on the massive dam being constructed on the Nile River.

However, he made sure during the interview to minimize the importance of mediation, asserting that he personally had preferred that this issue be solved between the three concerned parties.

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