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Sisi warns of regional instability over Renaissance Dam crisis

March 31, 2021 at 11:35 am

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi in Athens on 11 November 2020 [COSTAS BALTAS/AFP/Getty Images]

Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi has warned that it will not allow any other country to undermine its water supply and if it does, there will be severe regional consequences.

“I’m not threatening anyone here, our dialogue is always reasonable and rational,” Al-Sisi said on Tuesday at a press conference in Ismailia to mark the freeing of the Ever Given container ship.

“I say once again no one can take a drop from Egypt’s water, and if it happens there will be inconceivable instability in the region.” Egypt’s Nile water share is a “red line.”

Shortly after Al-Sisi’s comments, Saudi Arabia, Oman, and Bahrain expressed their support for Egypt and Sudan’s efforts to protect their share of the Nile water.

READ: Tanker released by Suez might be damaged, warns Egypt official

The words appear to be Al-Sisi’s strongest warning so far as Ethiopia presses ahead with filling the dam.

Downstream countries Egypt and Sudan are hoping for a legally binding agreement over how the Renaissance Dam is filled, however, Ethiopia has pushed ahead with filling the reservoir regardless.

Egypt is concerned about how the dam will affect its share of the water supply whilst Sudan is worried about the safety of the dam and believes that it will affect how its own dam will operate.

Ethiopia says it can use the hydroelectric power which will be produced by its dam to provide electricity to its population.

For the past 10 years, the three countries have attempted negotiations, but they have repeatedly stalled despite numerous attempts at mediation by different countries.

Several days ago a Sudanese delegation arrived in Abu Dhabi after the approval of a UAE initiative to mediate between Sudan, Egypt, and Ethiopia.

Never-ending fight between Egypt/Ethiopia and Sudan over the Renaissance Dam - Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

Never-ending fight between Egypt/Ethiopia and Sudan over the Renaissance Dam – Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]