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Egyptian visit to Ethiopian dam raises hopes for resolution

Egypt and Ethiopia are showing a willingness to resolve the dispute over the Renaissance Dam, but some fundamental concerns still remain.
Ethiopia's Great Renaissance Dam is constructed in Guba Woreda, some 40 km (25 miles) from Ethiopia's border with Sudan, June 28, 2013. Egypt fears the $4.7 billion dam, that the Horn of Africa nation is building on the Nile, will reduce a water supply vital for its 84 million people, who mostly live in the Nile valley and delta. Picture taken June 28, 2013. REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri (ETHIOPIA - Tags: POLITICS SOCIETY ENERGY ENVIRONMENT) - RTX115KB

CAIRO — In an attempt to open a new page in Egyptian-Ethiopian ties, both Cairo and Addis Ababa are trying to show their commitment and seriousness in carrying out the road map to overcome the dispute over the Renaissance Dam. The road map was agreed upon during the Khartoum talks on Aug. 25, despite Egypt’s concerns and Ethiopia’s insistence on building the dam based on the original stated specifications.

On Sept. 21, Egyptian Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation Hossam Moghazy went to Addis Ababa for the first time since the start of the dispute over the Renaissance Dam, where the Tripartite National Committee held its first meeting. The committee is made up of water experts from Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia, and is tasked with the implementation of the road map within six months. It will then conduct studies on the impact of the Renaissance Dam on the water flow to Egypt and Sudan, as well as its environmental, economic and social effects. The studies will be conducted through an international consultancy bureau, based on the recommendations of the final report of an international panel of experts.

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