Nile dam Negotiation deadlock between Egypt & Ethiopia

Upon arrival, Abdel-Muttalib said Ethiopian officials turned down all proposals to narrow the gap between the two sides.

Egypt‘s Irrigation Minister Mohamed Abdel-Muttalib and his accompanying delegation returned home Tuesday from Addis Ababa, where talks on Ethiopia‘s multi-billion dollar hydroelectric dam project seem to have hit snags, again.

Upon arrival, Abdel-Muttalib said Ethiopian officials turned down all proposals to narrow the gap between the two sides.

“All proposals tabled by Egypt to end the pending problems were met with unjustified rejection and intransigence which prove that the Ethiopian side is not taking the issue seriously,” the Irrigation Ministry said in a later statement.

Neither the minister nor the statement revealed the Egyptian proposals.

Egypt proposes the formation of an international expert committee to give a neutral opinion about the dam’s potential impact on Egypt’s water share.

Plans by Ethiopia to build a hydroelectric dam, called the Renaissance Dam, over the Blue Nile where most of Egypt’s Nile water revenues come, has sent shockwaves down the Nile Delta and the valley in Egypt.

Nile water distribution among the countries of the Nile basin used to rest on a colonial-era agreement giving Egypt and Sudan the lion’s share of Nile water.

Citing development ambitions, Ethiopia insists it needs to build a series of dams to generate electricity both for local consumption and exporting.

It maintains that the new dam can be of benefit for the two downstream states of Sudan and Egypt, which will be invited to purchase electricity generated by it.

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