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Egypt Rejects Any Project That Risks Its Water Safety – Minister

Egypt’s stance towards Ethiopia’s Renaissance Dam is clear and did not change, the Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation Mohamed Bahaa Eddin said on Tuesday in an official statement.

He explained that Ethiopia’s decision to start diverting the course of the Blue Nile, one of the Nile River’s two major tributaries, for building its dam does not mean that Egypt approves its construction.

The in-construction Renaissance Dam would supply Ethiopia with more than 5,000 megawatts of electricity. A move described by Ethiopian officials as a historic achievement.

On the other hand, this move raises concern in Egypt about how it could seriously reduce the downstream water flow of the Nile River.

The power-generating dam is predicted to reduce Egypt’s and Sudan’s share of Nile River water by 18 billion cubic meters annually.

“We are still waiting for the report of tripartite technical committee (made up of experts from Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia) on the effects of the dam on Egypt’s water safety,” the Water Resources Minister said.

“Our initial position is not to accept any project that would negatively affect Egypt’s water resources,” Bahaa Eddin said, stressing that the government would tackle the situation based on confirmed information.

The minister added that Egypt’s current crisis of water management and distribution confirms that the government cannot compromise “a single drop of water from the Nile.”

He explained that Egypt does not oppose any development project in any of the Nile Basin countries, provided that these projects do not harm the downstream countries.

Egypt: Nation’s Mursi to Discuss Ethiopian Dam With

Ministers

Egypt’s President Mohamed Mursi will convene on Thursday with Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Water Resources at the presidential palace to discuss the Ethiopian dam crisis, reported the state-owned news agency.

Ethiopia began on Tuesday the process of diverting the course of the Blue Nile River to continue the construction process of its Renaissance Dam, raising concerns over Egypt’s water supply.

The power-generating dam is predicted to reduce Egypt’s and Sudan’s share of Nile River water by 18 billion cubic meters annually.

The Egyptian government has stated that Ethiopia’s decision to start building the dam does not mean that Egypt approves its construction.

“We are still waiting for the report of tripartite technical committee (made up of experts from Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia) on the effects of the dam on Egypt’s water supply,” the Water Resources Minister said.

The committee’s report is expected to be released on Thursday.

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