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Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia sign dam declaration

Trio ease tensions over 6,000MW Nile project in Ethiopia after talks in Khartoum.

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The River Nile is Egypt's lifeblood
The River Nile is Egypt's lifeblood

Egypt has signed an agreement with Ethiopia and Sudan over a giant hydroelectric dam on a tributary of the river Nile.

Under the "declaration of principles", Egypt and Sudan will be given priority access to electricity generated by the 6,000MW Grand Renaissance Dam in Ethiopia, newswires reported.

The $4.2bn project, which began construction four years ago, has long been a source of tensions between the three countries.

Egypt and Sudan were concerned that the project on the Blue Nile near the border with Sudan would divert significant volumes of water away from the White Nile which both countries depend heavily on for irrigation and drinking water.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi, Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir and Ethiopian Prime Minister Halemariam Desalegn signed the declaration on Monday following negotiations in Sudan’s capital, Khartoum.

Though it stops some way short of resolving the dispute, the agreement paves the way for further discussions in the future.
Ethiopian prime minister Hailemariam Desalegn reiterated his country’s stance that the project would not cause any harm to its neighbours downstream.

Italy's Salini Impregilo is building the mega project.

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