Foreign minister calls Sudanese and Ethiopian counterparts

Foreign minister calls Sudanese and Ethiopian counterparts

A picture taken on May 28, 2013 shows the Blue Nile River in Guba, Ethiopia, during its diversion ceremony (AFP/File, William Lloyd-George)

A picture taken on May 28, 2013 shows the Blue Nile River in Guba, Ethiopia, during its diversion ceremony (AFP/File, William Lloyd-George)

Egypt’s Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy has called his Ethiopian and Sudanese counterparts to discuss Nile issues as well as bilateral relations.

The call came on Sunday, shortly after Egypt said it was concerned by Ethiopia’s unresponsiveness to calls for technical talks between the water resources ministers of three countries.

Fahmy told Ethiopian foreign minister Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus over the phone that he looks forward to swiftly holding these technical talks. The two also discussed strengthening bilateral relations. Fahmy also discussed regional issues and bilateral relations with the Foreign Minister of Sudan, Ali Karti.

The technical talks will focus on the implementation of the international panel of experts’ report on the effects of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam on downstream countries like Egypt and Sudan.

The foreign ministry spokesman said Saturday that he deeply regrets that a whole month has passed since former foreign minister Mohamed Kamel Amr agreed with the Sudanese and Ethiopian sides to hold these talks.

Ethiopia began diverting the Blue Nile on 28 May in its construction of the Renaissance Dam, a $4.2bn hydro-electric dam that has sparked fears that Egypt’s share of Nile water would be affected.

Egypt has long received the largest share of the water from the Nile, as per agreements signed in 1929 and 1959, which guaranteed Egypt 55.5bn cubic metres of the estimated total of 84bn cubic metres of Nile water produced each year.

Last week, the Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation said that approximately 24% of the construction of the dam had been completed.

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