Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam construction (Photo: Reuters)
CAIRO – 29 August 2018: The Egyptian Foreign Ministry denied recent rumors on an emergency visit by Egyptian officials to Ethiopia as a response to Ethiopia’s recent statement where the latter condemned a delay in the construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).
The ministry denied any link between the visit of Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry and Chief of Intelligence Abbas Kamel to Addis Ababa on August 27, and Ethiopia’s recent statements.
The ministry added that the Egyptian officials’ visit to Ethiopia was scheduled in advance as part of political and diplomatic efforts between the two countries, affirming that it was not an emergency visit.
Underscoring Egypt’s stance on the GERD, the ministry said Egypt is keen to reach an agreement with Ethiopia and Sudan concerning the GERD, and to also apply the signed agreements between the three states regarding the dam.
ADDIS ABABA - 28 August 2018: Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry and intelligence service chief Abbas Kamel met on Tuesday here with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.
On August 25, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed blamed the military-based local contractor, Metals and Engineering Corporation (MetEC), for the delay in the construction of the multi-billion dollar Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), according to the Ethiopian, The Reporter.
Abiy’s comments came during his meeting with members of the local and international press in his office, the first since he took office in May, where he noted that he visited the GERD two months ago to follow up the construction process, expressing his disappointment at METEC's performance that is lagging the project far behind.
“Salini is completing its part of the project on time and now it is demanding huge payment because the project is lagging from the side of METEC,” Abiy told the media. “We have handed over a complicated water dam project to people who have not seen a dam in their life and if we continue in that direction, the project may never see the light of day,” he added, according to The Reporter.
In July, High-level delegations from Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia met in Cairo's Central Bank headquarters to discuss establishing a joint fund for investment and developmental projects related to the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam.
The talks addressed all required topics concerning establishing the fund, especially regarding its goals, body, administration and budget.
The three countries held talks over Ethiopia’s Renaissance Dam. Egypt has been concerned about the probable negative impact of the dam on the state’s water share, as it may decrease water supply to Egypt. Ethiopia denies the claims.
Sudan, on the other side, supports the 6,000 MW dam, as it will provide electricity, boost irrigation, and regulate floods, according to Reuters.
Some Ethiopian scholars and researchers said in 2013 that the dam will enable Sudan, whose border is just 30 kilometers away from the dam, to save up to $20 million annually, Sudan Tribune reported.