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Egypt's New Rulers Face Crisis With Ethiopia Over Nile

Egypt has sent delegations to Ethiopia to push for a compromise on the dam project and sharing the Nile's waters.
Boats sail on the river Nile in Cairo June 12, 2013. Most of Egypt's population live clustered around the Nile valley and delta, and the river is both a vital resource for the country's citizens, and a potent national symbol. In a recent dispute with Ethiopia over the construction of a dam upstream, Egypt's foreign minister Mohamed Kamel Amr underlined the country's reliance on the river's waters: "No Nile - no Egypt," he said. Picture taken June 12, 2013. REUTERS/Asmaa Waguih (EGYPT - Tags: POLITICS SOCIET

CAIRO — While the political situation in Egypt seems to be heading toward relative stability after the new cabinet took the oath of office, the issue of the Nile has returned to the government’s agenda as an external challenge threatening national security. A delegation of senior Egyptian diplomats, including Africa expert Ambassador Mona Omar, traveled to a number of African states, starting with Ethiopia, to explain Egypt’s position and improve its image following the recent coup and overthrow of deposed president Mohammed Morsi. Coordination meetings were also held between the ministers of foreign affairs and irrigation to make progress on the political and technical levels toward a solution to the problem.

The new government is trying to address the crisis with Ethiopia regarding the Renaissance Dam on the political and technical levels by completing technical studies and gathering data on the dam which the tripartite committee did not finish. Egypt is also holding negotiations on the international, regional and bilateral levels in order to highlight any potential damage or shortage threatening Cairo's historical share, as noted by the new Egyptian Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation Mohammed Abdel Matlab in a conversation with Al-Monitor.

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