Sudan criticises Egypt over dam dispute

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Addis Ababa, February 19, 2014 (WIC) – Sudan’s foreign minister Ali Karti appeared critical of Egypt’s handling of its differences with Ethiopia regarding the construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, Sudan Tribune reported.
The foreign minister said Egypt was further inflaming the situation by making critical comments in the media, adding that Sudan would continue its efforts to bridge the gap between the two countries.
"The position of Sudan is clear and we have already called on Egyptian officials to take advantage of the central role that Sudan could play regarding the crisis, but the arrogance of the previous government did not allow them to accept this idea," he was quoted as saying denying that Sudan is taking sides.
"If there is a room for a role that Sudan can play then the atmosphere must be clear away from the tensions and the cries over the media that do harm and no good" Karti said.
A panel of international experts, which studied the impact and benefits of GERD, found that the dam project will not cause significant harm to both Egypt and Sudan.
Sudan had since publicly backed the construction of the dam and offered to send experts and technicians to help in the dam’s construction. Sudan’s move was welcomed by Ethiopia but has angered Egypt.
The foreign minister made the remark on Tuesday upon return to Khartoum after accompanying Sudanese president Omer Hassan al-Bashir to Ethiopia in which they participated in celebrations marking the 39th anniversary of the establishment of the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).
On the sidelines, Bashir and Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn also held talks on ways to strengthen bilateral trade between the two neighboring countries.
Katri told reporters at Khartoum airport that Ethiopia and Sudan have agreed to open border crossings and activate the economic and trade committees between the two countries, Sudan Tribune reported.
According to Sudanese media, foreign minister Ali Katri is expected to travel to Cairo in the coming days.