Egypt, Ethiopia to draft 'principles' to tackle Cairo's dam concerns

Egypt's President and Ethiopian Prime Minister have agreed to formulate principles that tackle Egypt's concerns on a multi-billion dollar dam being built by Addis Ababa on the Nile

Egypt's President and Ethiopian Prime Minister have agreed to formulate principles that tackle Egypt's concerns on a multi-billion dollar dam being built by Addis Ababa on the Nile

ADDIS ABABA – Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi and Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn have agreed to formulate principles that tackle Egypt's concerns on a multi-billion dollar dam being built by Addis Ababa on the Nile.

"[The two leaders] agreed to form a team to immediately start in formulating principles that tackle Egypt's concerns from the Renaissance dam," Egyptian presidential spokesman Alaa Youssef told reporters late Thursday.

He said the Ethiopian Premier has renewed invitation to President al-Sisi to visit Ethiopia and address the Ethiopian parliament.

"[This] reflects the strength of relations between the two countries," Youssef said.

The Egyptian president arrived in Addis Ababa on Thursday to attend the African summit, due to open on Friday.

Ethiopia and Egypt are trying to narrow their differences over the former's multibillion-dollar hydroelectric dam project currently being built on the Nile River.

The two countries agreed to resume tripartite talks – which also included downstream country Sudan – after al-Sisi and Desalegn met in Equatorial Guinea last summer.

Meetings of a tripartite technical committee, set up in 2011, resumed last August after an eight-month hiatus due to ongoing differences between Cairo and Addis Ababa.

In September, the tripartite committee decided to hire research firms to study the anticipated trans-boundary and environmental impact of the Nile dam.

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

Ethiopia, for its part, says the project is indispensible for its own national development needs and the economic welfare of its growing population.

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