Arab League secretary accuses Ethiopia of not cooperating over Nile dam talk

Ethiopia News
November 27,2017

Ahmed Abdul-Gheit, Arab League Secretary  -accusing Ethiopia
Ahmed Abdul-Gheit, Arab League Secretary
Photo : AP via Ahram

A report by Egyptian news source,Ahram online,indicates that the secretary general of the Arab League, Ahmed Abdul-Gheit, is accusing Ethiopia of not cooperating on Nile Dam talk.He said on Sunday that the pan-Arab organization is following the talks between riparian countries over Mega Dam project that Ethiopia is undertaking “with extreme concern”, as cited by Ahram online.

Also, the secretary is quoted as saying “We do not feel that Ethiopia was cooperating and coordinating enough. The Ethiopian plans to operate the dam and use its water in irrigation are ambiguous and concerning”

In an address to the Fourth Arabic Forum for Water in Cairo, Abul-Gheit stated that the water security of the most populous Arab country, in reference to Egypt, was a matter of Arab national security.

Noting that Egypt receives 85 % of its water from Ethiopian highlands, he said that “there are currently 400 million people living on the banks of the Nile who will reach one billion by 2050” and called on Ethiopia to be open and transparent and cooperate.

The Ethiopian position

While 86 percent of the volume of Nile water originates from Ethiopian highlands, the country is not getting its fair share of the water. Ethiopian authorities believe that the Grand Renaissance Dam, which is 60 % completed according to recent reports, will not significantly reduce the flow of water to lower riparian countries.

Sudan,one of the countries in the lower course, nodded that the dam will not affect its interest.

Affirming commitment for dialogue over the dam,Ethiopian authorities reject the desire on the part of Egypt for the implementation of colonial time treaty ( in 1929 and 1959) over Nile which Ethiopia didn’t sign.

When Egyptian president stated, for second time, that “water is a matter of life or death for Egypt” in what seemed to be a warning to Ethiopia, Ethiopian foreign Affairs ministry spokes person told journalists that the Grand Renaissance Dam is a matter of “life or death for Ethiopia,too”

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