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Egypt accuses Ethiopia of torpedoing Nile dam talks

Cairo, Apr 13 (Prensa Latina) The Egyptian government accused Ethiopia of torpedoing any dialogue on the Great Renaissance Dam (GERD), built by Ethiopia on the Nile River and which has caused tensions between the two countries for years.

“It is unfortunate that Ethiopian authorities express their willingness to resume negotiations under the auspices of the African Union in a new attempt to buy time and continue the filling without an agreement,” Deputy Foreign Minister Hamdy Loza said in a statement.

The follow up of negotiations for 10 years without results is evidence of Addis Ababa’s intransigence, the Minister considered.

The ongoing claim about Egypt’s politicization of this issue is an attempt by Ethiopia to evade its legal responsibility and reflects a disregard for the principles of international law and good neighborliness, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry said.

Ethiopian Foreign Ministry spokesman Meles Alem said this week that the GERD has not caused any damage to the two nations downstream of the Nile: Egypt and Sudan. However, Loza denied those comments, noting that Egypt’s concerns are “genuine and based on documented scientific studies.” “Addis Ababa’s comments regarding its absolute freedom to continue filling the dam are also pieces of evidence of unilateralism that go beyond the scope of negotiation,” he stressed.

Cairo says the dam threatens its quota of water from the Nile, on which the country of more than 104 million people is almost entirely dependent for human consumption, agriculture and industry.

Considered one of the countries with the greatest water scarcity in the world, Egypt receives around 60 billion cubic meters a year, mainly from this river, but its needs are around 114 billion cubic meters.

The Addis Ababa authorities consider the GERD a key to supplying electricity to more than 110 million inhabitants of Ethiopia, thus boosting its socio-economic development.