Monday, March 9, 2015

Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia to cooperate on Renaissance Dam

Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia to cooperate on Renaissance Dam

CAIRO, 1 days ago

Foreign ministers of Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia have signed a declaration of principles on a multi-billion-dollar hydroelectric dam on the Nile in Ethiopia.

Sudanese Foreign Minister Ali Karti said consensus had been reached on a joint declaration of principles to cooperate and benefit from the eastern Nile basin and the Renaissance Dam, according to a report in a Turkish weekly.

Karti said that the preliminary agreement would be submitted to each of the three countries' presidents for review. He did not reveal any more details, it added.

For his part, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said that the agreement would "pave the way for further cooperation on the political and technical aspects" of the dam project.

"The deal addresses the concerns of the downstream states Egypt and Sudan," he added.

Egyptian Irrigation Minister Hossam Moghazi had said that the consultancy firm which would be tasked with assessing the likely impact of Ethiopia's Renaissance Dam project, which Egypt and Sudan fear would reduce their respective shares of the Nile water, would be announced within four days in Addis Ababa.

Moghazi also said that the tripartite committee on the dam – made up of Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan - would sign the contract with the selected firm following an economic summit in Egypt's Sharm al-Sheikh resort town slated for March 13 to 15.

Four consultancy firms from France, Australia and Holland had earlier been shortlisted and invited to submit their proposals.

Egypt and Ethiopia have been locked in talks over the potential ramifications of Ethiopia's project to construct the multi-billion Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) on the Nile's upper reaches.

Egypt fears the dam will negatively affect its traditional share of water from the Nile, its only source of water.

Ethiopia, for its part, says the project is indispensable to its own national development and the economic welfare of its burgeoning population.

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