Egypt warns all options open to tackle dam crisis

Egypt warns all options open to tackle dam crisis

Sudan also warns it may seek support of UN Security Council to deal with Ethiopia’s Renaissance Dam


(aa)—Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said on Wednesday his country would not allow Egypt’s Nile water supply to be disrupted, warning that all options are open to deal with the Ethiopian dam crisis.

“I say to our Ethiopian brothers, there is no need to reach a level that you mess with a water drop of Egypt’s [Nile] water because all options are open,” Al-Sisi told the official Egyptian TV at an inaugural ceremony of a government facility.

Al-Sisi noted that Egypt continues to coordinate with Sudan and the world “to emphasize on the justice of our cause.”

“We understand the issue of development for the African countries relying on the water, but with the condition not to affect Egypt’s water rights,” he added.

For his part, Sudan’s Irrigation and Water Resources Minister Yasir Abbas reiterated the same position, saying all options are open in front of Sudan to deal with Ethiopia’s dam crisis, including to seek the UN Security Council’s support.

“The issue of the Renaissance Dam affects Sudan’s national security and has regional repercussions,” Abbas said in a news conference in Khartoum on Wednesday.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shukri also said on Wednesday that both Egypt and Sudan “show a great amount of flexibility” but was stuck with Ethiopia’s rejection.

He added that Egypt and Sudan would seek international bodies after the talks fail in the Congolese capital Kinshasa.

Following three months of talks sponsored by the African Union which failed to reach progress, al-Sisi, on March 30, cautioned about Egypt’s decreasing share of the Nile water.

“Nobody will be permitted to take a single drop of Egypt’s water,” said Al-Sisi. “Any harm to Egypt’s [Nile] water will affect the stability of the entire region.”

Ethiopia insists on carrying out the second filling stage of the dam in July, in a unilateral move amid a lack of agreement with neighboring Egypt and Sudan.

Egypt said the dam would reduce the flow of water downstream, while Ethiopia maintains the dam would be vital in addressing its acute power shortage.

* Ahmed Asmar contributed to this report from Ankara.