Egypt, Ethiopia leaders say Nile dam must not ruin relations

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Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi (R) and Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn talk during their meeting in the Egyptian Presidential Palace in Cairo, Egypt, January 18, 2018 in this handout picture courtesy of the Egyptian Presidency. The Egyptian Presidency/Handout via REUTERS

CAIRO (Reuters) – Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi pledged on Thursday not to let differences over a dam Ethiopia is building on the Nile river ruin relations with Addis Ababa.

Ethiopia hopes the hydroelectric Grand Renaissance Dam will make it Africa’s largest power exporter.

Egypt says it threatens its water supply which relies almost exclusively on the Nile that runs from Ethiopia through Sudan and Egypt to the Mediterranean Sea. Addis Ababa says it will have no impact.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi (Back-R) and Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn gesturing as Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry and Ethiopian Foreign Minister Workneh Gebeyehu exchange documents during the meeting in the Egyptian Presidential Palace in Cairo, Egypt, January 18, 2018 in this handout picture courtesy of the Egyptian Presidency. The Egyptian Presidency/Handout via REUTERS

Sisi said negotiations with its two African neighbors were progressing and said a deadlock over a disputed, ongoing study on the dam’s impact must end.

“The Nile basin enjoys great resources and capabilities that makes it a source of interconnection, building and development, not a source of conflict,” Sisi told reporters after meeting Ethiopia’s prime minister, Hailemariam Desalegn, in Cairo.

Hailemariam echoed his comments: “We must make sure that this great river never becomes an object of competition, mistrust or conflict.”

Reporting by Mohamed El Sherif; Writing by Arwa Gaballa; Editing by John Davison and Alison Williams

SOURCE: REUTERS

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