On Thursday (21), Ethiopian Foreign Ministry spokesman Meles Alem defended the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam project, he said that Addis Ababa does not need anyone’s permission to benefit from its natural resources and denied claims that his country is receiving funding from Qatar to build the Dam.
In a press conference with local media in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, Meles stressed that the reports published by some Egyptian newspapers do not affect the construction work in the dam, pointing out that the percentage of these works’ implementation exceeded 60 per cent.
He added that what was published by some Egyptian media that Ethiopia is getting funding from Qatar for the construction of the Renaissance Dam is unfounded and he considered it “unacceptable,” stressing that the dam is built using the Ethiopian people’s funds.
He also pointed out that along with the construction works in the Renaissance Dam project, Ethiopia will continue to cooperate with Sudan and Egypt in the upcoming stages.
The spokesman added: “The 17th meeting on the Renaissance Dam ended in Cairo few days ago without consensus because of Egypt’s intention to include the colonial era agreements of 1929 – 1959 as part of the negotiations.”
Last week, Egypt announced that it has frozen technical negotiations with Sudan and Ethiopia following a tripartite meeting in Cairo, after Egyptian officials rejected the two countries’ amendments to the studies of the French Advisory Bureau on the Dam and its filling as well as operation.
Over the past few days, the Renaissance Dam matter drew the attention of all Egyptian newspapers and TV programs, both governmental and private.
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Last Saturday, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi said that no one could touch Egypt’s water share, stressing that it is a matter of “life or death,” in his first comment after his country announced the suspension of negotiations.
Egypt fears possible negative impacts of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam on its 55.5 billion cubic meters share of water, while Addis Ababa says the dam is not aimed at harming Egypt. The electricity which would be generated by the dam will help eradicate poverty and boost Ethiopia’s developmental Renaissance.