PM says Ethiopia will not cut Egypt's share of Nile waters

PM says Ethiopia will not cut Egypt's share of Nile waters

PM says Ethiopia will not cut Egypt's share of Nile waters

Egyptian authorities released 32 Ethiopian prisoners on Monday during the visit of Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed to Cairo, Egyptian and Ethiopian news websites reported.

Abiy Ahmed and Abdul Fetah al-Sisi are scheduled to hold a joint press conference on Sunday after a bilateral meeting.

Ethiopia's prime minister has sworn not to "harm" Egypt's share of the Nile, breaking the deadlock in talks over control of Africa's longest river.

The leaders of Ethiopia and Egypt have achieved a breakthrough in the ongoing dispute over Addis Ababa's construction of a major hydroelectric dam on the Nile River.

When President Sisi took office in 2014, he showed understanding of Ethiopia's aspiration for development through the new dam.

Ethiopia and Egypt have been trading war of words sometime back after Egyptian president ranted "Nile is a matter of life and death for Egypt" - connoting that it is a red line.

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The group used to be called G8 before Russia's membership was suspended in 2014 after the outbreak of the Ukrainian crisis. The addition of South Asian rivals India and Pakistan have also raised questions about the group's long-term cohesiveness.

Egypt fears the dam will cut into its share of the river, which provides virtually all the fresh water for the arid country of 100 million people. Ethiopia says the dam is essential for its economic development.

Ethiopia's ambassador to Sudan, Mawtada Zoudi, said earlier this month that the construction of the GERD has passed 65% completion.

"Cairo's weak hand and inability to gain sufficient leverage over Addis Ababa will force it to coordinate dam operations if it wishes to have input on future Nile River projects", it said.

Translation: "By his weak imagination power, Sisi thought that by making the Ethiopian PM swear he is saving Egypt's historic right in Nile waters, the Ethiopian PM will stick to his swear".

Ethiopia hopes that the Grand Renaissance Dam, now under construction near the Ethiopia-Sudan border can transform it into a key energy hub in Africa. Past Egyptian presidents have warned that any attempt to build dams along the Nile will be met with military action, but Egypt's current leader, President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi, has ruled that out.

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