Egypt's FM meets Ethiopian counterpart for dam talks

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Addis Ababa, 29 May 2014 (WIC) - Egypt's Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy met on Wednesday with his Ethiopian counterpart Tedros Adhanom to discuss bilateral relations between the two countries and issues related to Ethiopia's Grand Renaissance Dam, Al-Ahram reported.

The two ministers met in Algeria while attending the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) summit that took place on 26-29 May.

According to the Egyptian foreign ministry's spokesperson Badr Abdel-Ati, Fahmy stressed to his counterpart that Egypt is still willing to negotiate over the issues of the Ethiopia's dam and try to reach a consensus.

The planned Grand Renaissance Dam is a $4.2 billion hydroelectric dam on the Blue Nile, one of the main tributaries of the Nile. The project has been a source of concern for the Egyptian government since May of last year, when images of the dam's construction stirred public anxiety about possible effects on Egypt's share of the Nile, the country's main source of potable water.

Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan formed a tripartite technical committee to study the possible effects of the dam and try to generate consensus. Ethiopia maintains that Egypt's water share will not be negatively affected by the successful completion of the project.

Last year, Ethiopia and five other Nile Basin countries – Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya and Burundi – endorsed an accord, the Co-operative Framework Agreement, which replaced a 1929 treaty granting Egypt veto power over any project on the Nile in upstream countries.

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