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#Egypt plans to address the conflict with #Ethiopia about the Renaissance Dam

By Tajuddin
Dec 9th, 2015

Presidency spokesperson Alaa Youssef

Presidency spokesperson Alaa Youssef

Cairo,Egypt ( Agencies + DIPLOMAT.SO) – Egypt began implementing an alternative plan to successfully hold the tripartite meeting on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), which was postponed to 11 and 12 December.

Egypt is planning to follow alternative scenarios and suggestions that have not been issued before, to tackle disputes regarding the dam.

President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi met on Tuesday with the representatives of the Ethiopian public diplomatic delegation, Herut Wel Mariam, the vice-president of Addis Ababa University, and the former president of the Chamber of Commerce in Addis Ababa, Mulu Solomon, in the presence of the Ethiopian ambassador in Cairo.

Presidency spokesperson Alaa Youssef said in press statements that Al-Sisi welcomes the activation of the office of Egyptian-Ethiopian relations because it represents a mechanism for direct communication between the two countries.

Youssef said Al-Sisi highlighted, during the meeting, Egypt’s commitment to reaching a consensus with the Ethiopian side on all issues, in light of the historical relations linking the two countries, taking into account the importance of listening to the concerns of each party and dealing with them positively, to expand common benefits.

Meanwhile, Hani Raslan, an expert on Sudan and Nile Basin affairs at Al-Ahram Centre for Political and Strategic Studies, said Egypt’s efforts on the dam issue are ineffective. He told Daily News Egypt that the dispute taking place between the two countries has been pending for a long time and the solutions cannot be applied with just talks.

Raslan believes Egypt is behind in terms of tackling the issue, as Ethiopia has benefits wishes it wants to achieve no matter what. Therefore Egypt needs to provide a real solution, not studies, he said.

Raslan noted that there is already communication between the two countries, but the problem is that there are conflicts of interest and they require balance.

The tripartite meeting between Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan’s foreign ministers and ministers of irrigation to discuss the GERD will be held on 11 December. Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia are set to discuss contingency plans in the absence of an agreement between the firms that were chosen to study the effect of the dam, which would include choosing new ones and restarting the selection process.

The three countries previously formed a committee to select a consultancy firm to assess the impact of the dam on Sudan’s and Egypt’s water supply.

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