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Ethiopian Ambassador doubts need for mediator between Egypt and Ethiopia - Daily News Egypt

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Ethiopian Ambassador doubts need for mediator between Egypt and Ethiopia

The two countries did not reach a solution after talks in the Ethiopian capital last month


A picture taken on May 28, 2013 shows the Blue Nile in Guba, Ethiopia, during its diversion ceremony.  (AFP Photo)
A picture taken on May 28, 2013 shows the Blue Nile in Guba, Ethiopia, during its diversion ceremony.
(AFP Photo)

Ethiopia’s ambassador to Egypt said he doubted the need for mediation between Egypt and Ethiopia on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, stressing the importance of constructive dialogue as the only alternative.

Ambassador Mahamoud Dirir said in a statement published by the Ethiopian Foreign Ministry on Monday that it is “naïve” to consider that ties between the two countries should “solely be viewed through the prism of the Nile issue.”

Dirir denied reports of third party mediation between the two Nile Basin countries and said, “there are only two, and only two, countries in the entire world which are well-placed to mediate between Egypt and Ethiopia; and these are, of course; Ethiopia and Egypt, themselves.”

He added that the role of Sudan as a partner has been pivotal to “ironing out” difficulties in the dialogue between Egypt and Ethiopia.

Dirir said the countries have enough experience to ensure that the Nile is a source of cooperation between Nile Basin countries, not a source of conflict.

On Monday, Prime Minister Ibrhaim Mehleb held talks with Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy in which they focused on relations with Nile Basin countries and the possibility for developing them. The cabinet said in a statement after the meeting that Egypt is currently dealing positively with all Nile Basin countries in order to preserve its strategic interests and out of recognition of the ambitions of these countries for development.

Ethiopia began diverting water from one of the Nile River’s tributaries in May 2013, and is currently building the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, expected to be completed within three years. Egypt fears that the electricity-generating dam will have a detrimental effect on its lion’s share of Nile water.

The latest round of talks between Egypt and Ethiopia ended on 10 February without the two sides resolving “sticking points”. The “sticking points” that remain regard the formation of a committee to oversee the implementation of recommendations of a report detailing confidence-building measures concerning the dam and its effect on downstream nations.

Ethiopia said the talks in February “made no progress” because of a difference in opinion regarding the involvement of international experts. It said that while Egypt wants the involvement of foreign experts, Sudan and Ethiopia, do not see the need.

Sudan, which is also an interested party and, like Egypt, is a downstream country, was part of a series of tripartite talks between the three countries in November, December and January. However, they have not reached an agreement.

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  • Jasmine

    Unlike most reports coming out of Egypt with regards to the Nile, I like the tone and professionalism of the reporting here…way to go Hend!

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  • Dany

    Well, That was a professional reporting. Good lesson for others

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  • Bittertruth

    No mediators needed. No Intimidation. No evil act of destabilization. No disrespect. No bullying. No negative and misleading propaganda. No influencing other Arabs like Saudi and recently Kuwait to put pressure on Ethiopia by mistreating and discriminating Ethiopians living and working there. It does not yield any positive result. It only makes Ethiopians united and stronger. In a nutshell, as late PM Meles Zenawi said, relation between Ethiopia and Egypt is like an old marriage with no possibility of divorce. Therefore, it is wise for Egypt to follow a new path based on respect and genuine negotiation. However, for that to happen, Egypt must scrap the outdated colonial treaties which Ethiopia had never been consented and signed. secondly, Egypt must fully accept that other Nile Basin States have a right to utilize their natural resources including the Nile like Egypt. Any other path based on intimidation and disrespect is fruitless.

  • sidi abdu

    Which logic dictates to let your children die of hunger and my children sleep the night full of food. The rational person would share the food and let the both. Egyptians don’t have that logic. It s me me and me and for me. If it doesn’t work for them,they will call big brother uncle Saud to push Ethiopia around. I have news for them this time: For Ethiopia,this is matter of survival and no more bending on its knee.

  • sidi abdu

    Which logic dictates to let your children die of hunger and my children sleep the night with full of tummy. The rational person would share the food and let both grow and strive. Egyptians don’t have that logic. It s me me and me and for me. If it doesn’t work for them,they will call big brother uncle Saud to push Ethiopia around. I have news for them this time: For Ethiopia,this is matter of survival and no more bending on its knee

  • Gembre

    God Bless Ethiopia and Israel!

    • seyoum

      who talks about Israel here… shout up okay…. its about egypt and ethiopia

      • Gembre

        እናንተ ምን አገባችሁ ። እግዚአብሄር ኢትዮጵያንና እስራኤልን ይባርክ!

    • kazanchis

      Wendemachin yemyahon neger bankebateres sew min yelenal?

      • Gembre

        tinish bilt hunu….lemin endezih endalku asbubet….

    • Gembre

      እናንተ ምን አገባችሁ ። እግዚአብሄር ኢትዮጵያንና እስራኤልን ይባርክ ፦

    • YabayLij

      I wish you hadn’t said this. We can safeguard our own national interest without Israel!. We were alone when we expel Italy in Adawa.

      • Gembre

        tinish bilt hunu….lemin endezih lil endechalku asbubet

    • One Way

      Think, think before. If u don’t have idea not forced to write.

      • Gembre

        tinish bilt hunu….lemin endezih endalku asbubet…

  • Daoud

    Did Egypt consult any of the Nile riparian countries when it built its Aswan dam? It certainly did not consult Ethiopia. This is like a spoiled child who demands money from his parents for his livelihood but doesn’t want those same parents to question if he is using the money wisely. Egypt is acting incredibly arrogantly for a country on the receiving end of the water that originates in Ethiopia. Its attitude seems to be it can be as wasteful as it wants with the water but wants to dictate the ways Ethiopia can use the Nile! Sheer arrogance!!

    • NadiaEG

      We absolutely respect Ethiopia’s right to develop and utilize natural resources. Of course, the building of the Aswan Dam does not compare. Egypt is the last country on the line, so the Aswan Dam doesn’t take water away from any country – including Ethiopia. Whatever Egypt doesn’t use of the remaining water that comes down the Nile goes into the sea. The same cannot be said for Ethiopia’s Renaissance Dam. You could potentially take too much, and then Sudan would take what’s left as it trickles down, and Egypt would be left with too little to support its people. It is not about dictating what other Nile countries can do. It is about ensuring that our children do not die of thirst. A valid concern, don’t you think?

      • Henok Mamo

        C’mon Nadia. One of the reason that Egypt is claiming is that the water volume decrease will affect negatively the turbines of the Aswan dam and lowers the amount of power generated. The more Egypt introduced projects like that not to mention the project which aimed at changing all the desert of Egypt to somehow paradise…it will always claim for more water by hook or crook and can not be ready for meaningful dialogues to ensure the use of such projects.

      • Degu

        Dear NadiaEG, would the tone of Egyptian talk be same when there were no dams in Egypt? I absolutely doubt so. Mutual understanding equally works for what ever projects undertakings in Egypt because such projects consume same nile water. It doesnt make anysense for egypt to waste water in rice, cotton farms which are known to consume water a lot. It is time for egypt to adjust with realities

      • Yohanness

        Nadia, what do you mean when you say that “the Aswan Dam does not take water away from any country-including Ethiopai”. Don’t you know that the majority of water stored in the Aswan Dam comes from Ethiopia and that Egypt claims that this is her “rightful share”? of the Nile water claiming what is called “historical rights” which is not recognized under internationa law or for that matter has never been recognized by Ethiopia and all the other upstream countries. Does this not mean that Egypt wants to take away all the water of the Nile for herself which a sane mind like yours (I am assuming this) should understand. The Nile belongs to all the countries in the Nile basin and Ethiopia has the sovereign right to use the water for its own development needs and that is what Ethiopia is doing by building the Grand Ethiopian Renassainance dam which in fact benefits Egypt and all the other Nile basin countries including the region. Unfortunately, your so-called professionals and politicians feed the Egyptian people like you with lies and misinformation about the impact of the dam which is further alienating Egypt from the countries and all over the world. You should wake up from your dream of colonial mentality and make efforts to cooperate with the other Nile basin countries. Otherwise, you will face more problems that you could not anticipate in holding to the past. Wake up!! This is my advice to you and all common Egyptians who have succumbed to the lies of your politicians who will do anything to destroy Egypt.

        Yohanes Ababu

        • NadiaEG

          Thank you all for your responses. I don’t claim to understand everything about the project – but I will strive to educate myself better about it. I absolutely believe in international cooperation and the best outcome for all (and am sane enough to know that Egypt can’t have all the Nile 🙂 ) I’m not going to keep arguing a point till I’m sure I’m right. I’ll make you guys a deal: I’ll read every upcoming article on the subject with the Ethiopian perspective in mind and ask that you do the same but with the Egyptian perspective in mind. Isn’t that how successful international cooperation starts?

      • dear Nadia! it needs no complicated calculation or don’t make it nuclear physics. it is just a simple logic if you try to think out of greediness. that is a water turbine never ever affect the flow of river. so don’t worry for your children because a turbine cant consume a drop of water.

      • Bittertruth

        “Whatever Egypt doesn’t use of the remaining water that comes down the Nile goes into the sea.”
        Thank you Nadia for revealing the truth that Egypt’s cry is not about water. If it really is, then you wouldn’t let the water freely go into the sea.

  • moke

    ya the only solution better especially for Egypt and for all nile base is to discuss each other. other idea is fruitless so, Egyptian politician should think positively and cooperate with Ethiopians and others. other wise it will result bad things for Egyptians

  • dawit

    gembre, what are you talking about?? Israel what to do with our dam?? This dam build by ethiopian for ethiopian! period!! you can go and lick their ass! fuking colonialism mind! axum and lalibela not build by Israel help, it was by ethiopian ok..! choma ras, wedel ahya!!

    • Gembre

      It looks like you put all the English words you know in one sentence…..እንተ ምን አገባ ። እግዚአብሄር ኢትዮጵያንና እስራኤልን ይባርክ!

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  • Yordanos Yacob

    Well i suppose , its true they are concered , no more Lions share of anything definetly things will change thanks to the strategies they used to infest us with war we were too conserned with war we negleted to take care of our environment which left us dry so we’ll use the Nile not just for Hydroelectricity which made them all hyved up but for irrigation as well , i mean rain fall is ancient history now for Ethiopia , Well nw thanks to you Egypt there is no Going back

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