Sunday, April 27, 2014

We are not against the Ethiopian people, but we advocate our interests: Egypt's PM

(Apr 27, 2014, (Cairo))--Egypt's prime minister underlines his country's commitment to friendly solutions to the dispute with Ethiopia over the Grand Renaissance Dam. Egyptian Interim Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab spoke Friday on the importance of establishing "distinguished relations" with Ethiopia in spite of the ongoing dispute over the Grand Renaissance Dam (GRD) project.

"Egyptian-Ethiopian relations are historical," said Mahlab during a meeting with Egyptians in Chad's N'Djamena. Ethiopia's plan to build the dam has caused dispute between the two African countries. 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 Nile waters, the country's main source of potable water.

The planned dam is a $4.2 billion hydroelectric dam on the Blue Nile, one of the main tributaries of the Nile. "We're not against the Ethiopian people but we advocate our interests," Mahlab said. "We will protect our rights to the Nile water with the support of the world and African countries, and with our efforts," said Mahlab who underlined Egypt's commitment to friendly solutions to the ongoing crisis.

Mahlab, who is also visiting Tanzania this weekend, added that his visit to Chad signals the keenness of Egypt to make a "strong return to Africa." He also said that he supported operating an airline between Egypt and Ethiopia. Read more from Ahram Online » 

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