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Addis Ababa Reassures Cairo over Nile Water Share | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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A general view of Ethiopia’s Renaissance Dam, as it undergoes construction, is seen during a media tour along the Nile in Benishangul Gumuz Region, Guba Woreda, in Ethiopia, March 31, 2015. Reuters

Cairo-The Egyptian Foreign Ministry said on Sunday that it has received assurances from Ethiopia’s government communication affairs office Minister Getachew Reda that Addis Ababa respects Cairo’s Nile water share.

The communications office of the Ethiopian council of ministers highlighted that Ethiopia is committed to the declaration of principles on the building of the Renaissance Dam on the Blue Nile, Egypt’s foreign ministry spokesperson Ahmed Abu Zeid said in a statement.

“The Egyptian embassy in Addis Ababa has directly contacted Ethiopian officials to verify the accuracy of statements” made by Reda to Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper in an interview published last week.

“Ethiopian officials stressed they are committed not to harming Egypt’s water share,” the statement read.

The declaration of principles signed by Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt in March was a step towards putting an end to a dispute over Nile water sharing arrangements among Nile Basin countries.

Ten principles are outlined in the document, which mainly asserts commitment to achieving mutual interest, not harming any of the parties, and respecting the results of the technical reports.

Red told Asharq Al-Awsat in the interview that his country completed 70 percent of construction of the hydropower Renaissance Dam.

“Sudan, Ethiopia and Egypt have agreed on the technical committees. Furthermore, we haven’t promised to stop construction work pending the completion of technical studies,” he said.

“These committees are specialized in studying whether the dam would harm Sudan or Egypt and not whether to build or not to build the dam,” he added.

The committees are tasked with preparing a study on the impact of the dam on the three countries.

“No matter what happens, things will not change. The dam has become a reality. The people of the three countries will benefit from it,” Reda said.

“But if some (parties) believe that they will be harmed by it, then this is not Ethiopia’s problem,” he added.