Thursday, November 23, 2017

Egypt rejects accusation of using Sudan's Nile water quota

Ethiopian Grand Renaissance Dam
Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry rejected on Wednesday the statements of his Sudanese counterpart that Egypt used some of Sudan's Nile water quota for many years.

In statements published by Egypt's official MENA news agency, Shoukry said that Sudan's annual Nile water quota had been, for some time in the past, far more than its capacity, thus any surplus would normally flow to Egypt through the river.

Sudan's Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour said during a recent interview with Russia Today that Egypt had used some of Sudan's water quota for many years.

Meanwhile, Shoukry wondered how Sudan could have possibly stopped the normal flow of water when it was totally out of its hands.

This "unexpected" surplus had been "a burden on and a threat to" the Aswan High Dam in Egypt, which could not store extra amounts of water especially in times of floods, said Shoukry, adding that Egypt had to vainly discharge this part of Sudan's unused water to the Toshka Lakes behind the dam.

Shoukry said he was surprised that Ghandour would put it as a "creditor-and-debtor" relationship, which is impossible where natural resources are concerned.

The Egyptian FM questioned the reasons and motives behind such "inaccurate" statements in this time.

The Sudanese minister's statements came days after Egypt's negotiations with Ethiopia and Sudan failed to approve an initial study on the effects of the Ethiopian Grand Renaissance Dam (GERD) on the downstream states.

The irrigation ministers of Ethiopia and Sudan did not approve the consultant company's introductory report of the studies despite Egypt's initial approval, while asking for amendments that would affect the studies and make the report contentless.

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi and Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn are scheduled to meet in Cairo next month to discuss the deadlock.

Egypt is worried about its annual share of 55.5 billion cubic meters of the Nile River water amid the GERD's rapid construction.

Egypt's ties with Ethiopia have seen ups and downs since the latter started the dam project since April 2011 as Egypt has been suffering from turmoil following an uprising that toppled former president Hosni Mubarak.
Ethiopian Grand Renaissance Dam


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