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Ethiopian diplomat: Renaissance Dam will be built 'with its full capacity'

June 23, 2014 at 9:31 am

Ethiopia is moving forward with the construction of the Grand Renaissance Dam with its full capacity and according to the original plans despite Egyptian reservations, an Ethiopian diplomat told Arabi 21 website Sunday.

The suspension of an Egyptian anchorwoman from Tahrir TV channel has reopened discussions on the crisis of the dam’s capacity, amid reports of a UAE-Israeli mediated initiative in the horizon.

Tahrir anchorwoman Rania Badawy has been suspended after a complaint from the Ethiopian ambassador in Cairo following an argument she had with him during a live call-in with her show. Badawy has hung up on ambassador Mahmoud Dardir after he accused her of arrogance due to her question whether Ethiopia will carry on with the construction of the dam based on the original plan.

Responding to a question by Badawy regarding the dam’s current capacity and its impacts on Egyptian water security, the ambassador stressed that this is a sovereign matter, and that Ethiopia has “moved beyond Egyptian dictations and conditions in this regard.”

Arabi 21 website asked an Ethiopian diplomat regarding the implications of the ambassador’s remarks. The diplomat confirmed that his country had not changed its initial construction plans and would not accept any discussions with Egypt on them.

The diplomat confirmed reports of an Emirati-Israeli initiative that calls for the continuation of the construction according to initial plans, with an Ethiopian pledge not to use the full capacity of the dam in a way that impacts Egyptian and Sudanese share of the water.

The diplomat pointed out that the initiative, if approved, would not resolve the crisis because Addis Ababa would still be able to use the full capacity of the dam whenever it sees fit.