October 21, 2013

Disaster Averted In Egypt-Ethiopia Relations, Both Sides Move Closer To An Agreement Over Renaissance Dam Project

 Ethiopian PM Brushes Off Morsi's Threatening Rhetoric.

Egypt and Ethiopia have come to an agreement about the controversial Renaissance Dam project. If Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood gang had remained in power this positive development would not have occurred, so this is another benefit to the July coup. Anyone who did not see the wisdom in removing the MB clowns from power must realize now that it was for the best, both for the prosperity of the Egyptian people and the countries surrounding Egypt.

Hopefully, this is more than just talk. The construction of the Dam will still face resistance from certain groups, but at least the leaders of the Egyptian government are not willing to go war over it. Morsi was talking up a storm, saying he would defend every drop of water with every ounce of blood. He was not a calming leader, which is why both Egypt and Ethiopia have benefited from his absence in power. 

Instead of viewing this Dam as a slap to the face, Egypt should lead the project, and address its own water needs, because you can't stop development, so you might as well participate and reap the rewards.

An excerpt from, "In Switch, Egypt May Join Ethiopia In Nile Dam Project" by Ayah Aman (Al Monitor, October 21):
Cairo and Addis Ababa may soon reach a truce to calm their dispute over the construction of the Renaissance Dam on the Blue Nile in Ethiopia. Both countries have recently shown good faith and agreed to negotiate about the project. Egypt has even agreed to take part in building the dam, though without declaring its conditions for doing so.

 At a news conference Oct. 7, Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn announced that his country welcomes the participation of Egypt and Sudan in the construction of the dam and stressed that his government considers the dam to be jointly owned by Sudan, Ethiopia and Egypt. Cairo viewed his statement as a positive step toward reaching a consensus on the project, despite its earlier sharp criticism of it.

In a telephone conversation Oct. 17, Egyptian Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation Mohamed Abdul Muttalib told Al-Monitor: “Egypt doesn’t mind joining the Ethiopian government in building the dam for the service and development of the Ethiopian people. But we must agree on a number of items in a clear way to prevent any damage to Egypt as a result of the dam construction. The Egyptian government always opts for cooperation and participation. … During the coming negotiations with Ethiopia over the dam, we will clarify our position regarding the policy and method of operating the dam, the size of the storage lake attached to it, and how to fill it with water in times of flood and drought.” He stressed, “Egypt will definitely not participate in the construction unless these policies are agreed upon and agreements regarding them are signed.”

On Oct. 8, Ethiopian Minister of Water Alemayehu Tegenu had tweeted, “Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam never be slowed down for a second[.]  We can pay any cost for it ... [sic].”