Egyptian Foreign Minister, Sameh Shoukry - REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany
CAIRO – 23 October 2019: Egypt approved on Tuesday a U.S. invitation to a meeting over Ethiopia's Renaissance Dam, which has been causing an escalating spat between the two African countries.
Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouli said that the meetings offered a good opportunity for highlighting efforts that Egypt is currently exerting in various sectors.
Madbouli added that the US officials discussed Egypt’s stance regarding the controversial Ethiopian dam, noting that he explained to them that Cairo is not against development programs and projects in any of its fellow Nile Basin states provided that they do not affect Egypt’s water rights and needs.
The premier made the remarks during a routine weekly cabinet meeting held on Wednesday to discuss a number files and issues aimed at improving services offered to the citizens.
"Egypt has received an invitation from the U.S. administration," the ministry said in a statement, adding, "an invitation that Egypt immediately accepted."
Egypt is worried that the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), under construction near Ethiopia's border with Sudan, will restrict supplies of already scarce Nile waters on which it is almost entirely dependent.
Ethiopia will not be stopped from building the dam, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said on Tuesday.
Egypt did not, once, referred to violence or hinted military solution, despite being more than capable to do so, to solve the dispute, putting into consideration its stature in the continent and out of respect to the international community and law.
However, Abiy, despite of recently winning a Nobel prize in “peacemaking”, shouted out threats and hints about going to “WAR” over the dam issue.
"If we are going to war...we can deploy many millions,” Abiy recently said in press remarks.
According to Ludger Schadomsky, head of DW's Amharic desk, “Abiy has received the most prestigious peace prize for a peace that exists, predominantly, only on paper.”
Worse still: the award could, eventually, even torpedo those peace efforts, if the Eritrean leadership felt put under pressure to an even greater extent than before,” Schadomsky said in an article saying that granting the Nobel prize for Abiy was basically a “misguided decision.”
“The grumpy autocrat from Asmara, who ruthlessly keeps his own people in chains so he can remain in power, is unlikely to enjoy being snubbed under the eyes of the world by a charismatic politician half his age,” he added, speaking about Abiy, who recently started threatening of mobilizing millions for war, just days after getting the prize for PEACEMAKING!!!
For its part, Egypt criticized Abiy’s comments as "unacceptable".
"Egypt ... expressed its shock, great concern and deep regret over comments conveyed by media and attributed to Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed," the foreign ministry said.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi is expected to meet Abiy during a Russia-Africa summit this week. Egypt has suggested bringing in an outside party, possibly the World Bank or the United States, to mediate the dispute.
While seeking to prolong the deadlock, Ethiopia has rejected bringing in a mediator.