Egypt frees 32 Ethiopian prisoners during PM's visit

Ethiopian PM Abiy Ahmed and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi

By GCR Staff0 CommentsEthiopia and Egypt vowed yesterday to resolve their differences over Ethiopia's Grand Renaissance Dam on the Nile that Egypt fears will threaten its water supplies.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed assured Cairo on Sunday the dam would not reduce Egypt's share of Nile waters.

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi pardoned the prisoners, according to Egyptian officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief reporters. The dam is expected to be Africa's largest dam that will produce around 6,000 megawatts of electricity for Ethiopia. It is being built on the Blue Nile tributary of the Nile River, Egypt's main source of water for consumption, industry and farming.

He said Egypt had also promised to help locate the bodies of 38 Ethiopians killed by the Islamic State group in Libya in 2015.

"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.

The three nations most dependent on the Nile - Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia - have been holding negotiations for months on the shared use of the water after the massive dam is built.

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"I believe the visit is exploratory and it is meant to ensure previous understandings and create new ones", the expert added, noting that Ethiopia has already completed 65 percent of the dam construction.

Translation: "By his weak imagination power, Sisi thought that by making the Ethiopian PM swear he is saving Egypt's historic right in Nile waters, the Ethiopian PM will stick to his swear".

The two sides agreed to begin outlining an agreement that includes Sudan, and to set up a fund for infrastructure in the three countries.

Past Egyptian leaders have threatened military action if there was any attempt to dam the Nile.

Diplomatic tensions between Egypt and Ethiopia have seen on the rise since the dam project started in 2011. El-Sissi has ruled that out.

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