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Egypt issues stark warning against Ethiopia over stalled Nile dam talks

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has recently warned against messing with Egypt’s rights to the Nile River waters, in the first such threat against Ethiopia since talks on Addis Ababa’s controversial Nile dam have stalled.
Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly (L) receives his Sudanese counterpart Abdalla Hamdok in the Egyptian capital Cairo, on March 11, 2021.

CAIRO — Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has directly threatened Ethiopia for the first time since the dispute erupted over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), amid the failed and stalled negotiation rounds under the auspices of the African Union (AU). “No one is allowed to take away a single drop of water from Egypt; no one can even imagine the instability that will ensue in the region if such a thing were to happen. No one should dare question our capabilities. But if they want to put us to the test, then so be it.”

Sisi's threats came during a press conference on March 30 on the sidelines of his visit to the Suez Canal Authority (SCA), after the giant Ever Given container ship was refloated after being stuck in the Suez Canal for nearly a week. “We have never made any threats; we have always had a rational, patient approach,” Sisi said, adding, “Hostile action is ugly and has effects that extend for many years because people never forget such actions. Egypt’s water is off limits. If anyone were to cross this red line, our response would affect the stability of the entire region.”

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