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Ethiopia PM meets Sisi as Egypt seeks mutual cooperation

11 June 2018

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed says Ethiopia will not reduce Egypt's share of Nike waters, as his country works to complete what will be Africa's largest hydroelectric dam.

Under a decades-old agreement, Egypt has received what neighboring countries perceive as more than its fair share of the water.

For his part, Sisi described Egypt's relations with Ethiopia as "strategic", promising to maintain cooperation with the Ethiopian side for the best interests of both nations.

At Sunday's meeting in Cairo, Ahmed reassured el-Sissi that his country had "no desire to harm the Egyptian people".

Toward the end of their news conference, Sisi asked Ahmed to swear to God before the Egyptian people that he will not hurt Egypt's share of the Nile.

"We will take care of the Nile and we will preserve your share and we will work to increase this quota and President Sisi and I will work on this", Ahmed said, addressing Egyptians.

Fitsum Arega, chief of staff to the Ethiopian prime minister, tweeted that the freed prisoners will arrive in Addis Ababa later on Monday.

On May 16, Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan said they had made progress in talks on their lingering dispute over the Ethiopian dam.

During the meeting in Addis Ababa, the three states agreed to form a scientific study group for consultation on the reservoir construction and filling and to hold a summit among the three countries' leaders every six months.

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Ethiopia hopes that the Grand Renaissance Dam, now under construction near the Ethiopia-Sudan border can transform it into a key energy hub in Africa.

However, it is believed to have massive benefits for Ethiopia and Sudan while it might affect Egypt's 55.5-billion-cubic-meter annual share of the river which raises concerns and fears among Egyptians.

Egyptian presidents in the past have threatened military force in defense of their share of the Nile and against any attempts to build dams on it.

Ethiopia PM meets Sisi as Egypt seeks mutual cooperation