Ethiopia summons Egypt ambassador over dam issue
Fri Jun 7, 2013 7:17AM
Egyptians gathered outside the Ethiopian embassy in Cairo on June 2, calling for a halt to the construction of Grand Ethiopian Renaissance dam.Ethiopia has summoned Egypt’s ambassador to Addis Ababa over ‘hostile remarks’ by Egyptian politicians about a dam project on the Nile River. Egyptian Ambassador to Ethiopia Tarek Ghoneim was summoned to give an official explanation regarding the “hostile remarks,” Dina Mufti, a spokesman for the Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said on Thursday. Earlier in the week, Egyptian politicians warned against a diminished share of the Nile River, while proposing a plan to sabotage or aid rebels against the Addis Ababa government, which started work on the dam last week. On June 6, Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohammed Kamel Amr said that Egypt’s water security cannot be ignored, while recommending steps to coordinate a peaceful resolution with its neighboring countries, Sudan and Ethiopia.
“There is a large window for dialogue and discussion between Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan to arrive at the ideal form for the dam that ensures safeguarding Egypt’s water interests, realizing the development objectives of all three nations and avoiding any negative effects that may hurt downstream nations,” Amr said.On the same day, Egyptian presidential advisor Ayman Ali also warned that “all options are open” if the dam affects Egypt’s water supply. Last month, Ethiopia said it had begun diverting the flow of the Blue Nile for the construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance dam - a $4.2-billion hydroelectric plant. A ten-man panel of experts has found that the dam will not significantly affect Egypt or Sudan. On June 2, Egyptians gathered outside the Ethiopian embassy in Cairo, calling for a halt to the construction process. Egypt faces a water crisis as its population increases. In the 1960s, the average water share per person was 2,800 cubic meters. Now, the figure has dropped to 600 cubic meters, much below the poverty line, which is 1,000 cubic meters per person. GMA/HSN