Published: Tue, June 12, 2018
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

Ethiopian PM in Egypt for an official visit ; met with Sisi

Ethiopian PM in Egypt for an official visit ; met with Sisi

A video shows the Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali vowing that his country will not do any harm to the Egyptian water, as both countries are having a crisis over the construction of an Ethiopian dam on the Nile River.

Ethiopia's prime minister has held bilateral talks with his Egyptian counterpart, securing the release of Ethiopian prisoners held in the North African nation.

At the news conference, Sisi asked Ahmed to swear to God before the Egyptian people that he will not hurt Egypt's share of the Nile.

"We will take care of the Nile, and we will preserve your share of the Nile's water and we will work to increase this share", the Ethiopian prime minister promised.

In March 2015, the leaders of Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan signed an initial cooperation deal on the principles of sharing the Nile River water and the construction of the GERD.

Ethiopia and Egypt have been trading war of words sometime back after Egyptian president ranted "Nile is a matter of life and death for Egypt" - connoting that it is a red line.

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The two countries have been trying for months to settle a dispute over the dam Addis Ababa is building on the Nile River that Cairo fears will threaten its water supplies.

"I believe the visit is exploratory and it is meant to ensure previous understandings and create new ones", the expert added, noting that Ethiopia has already completed 65 percent of the dam construction.

FOLLOW News24 Africa on Twitter and Facebook. Ethiopia hopes the finished project can transform it into a key energy hub in Africa.

The main sticking point with Egypt concerns how quickly the reservoir behind the dam is filled, and the impact that will have downstream.

Egypt's share of Nile water sits at 55.5 billion cubic meters, while Sudan's quota is 18.5 billion cubic meters. Past Egyptian presidents have warned that any attempt to build dams along the Nile will be met with military action, but Egypt's current leader, President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi, has ruled that out.

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