Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia return to talks over disputed dam

Three key Nile basin countries will continue on Saturday their latest round of talks to resolve a years-long dispute over the operation and filling of Ethiopia’s giant hydroelectric dam on the Blue Nile. (File/AFP)
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Updated 04 July 2020

Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia return to talks over disputed dam

  • The Egyptian irrigation ministry said “fundamental technical and legal differences” remained unsolved
  • Sticking points in the talks include how much water Ethiopia will release downstream from the dam if a multiyear drought occurs

CAIRO: Three key Nile basin countries will continue on Saturday their latest round of talks to resolve a years-long dispute over the operation and filling of Ethiopia’s giant hydroelectric dam on the Blue Nile, Egypt’s irrigation ministry said.
Officials from Sudan, Egypt and Ethiopia resumed their negotiations through video conference Friday, aiming to bridge the gaps and finalize a deal on the contentious mega-project within two to three weeks, Sudan’s irrigation ministry said.
The current round of talks came after negotiations last month failed to produce a deal, prompting Egypt and Sudan to appeal to the United Nations Security Council to intervene in the dispute.
The Egyptian irrigation ministry said “fundamental technical and legal differences” remained unsolved, and that they would resume their meetings Saturday.
Sticking points in the talks have been how much water Ethiopia will release downstream from the dam if a multiyear drought occurs and how Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan will resolve any future disagreements.
Egypt and Sudan agreed late in June to return to the talks after they said Ethiopia would refrain from filling the dam until the three countries reached a deal.
The Ethiopian prime minister’s office said the filling has been scheduled to begin within the next two weeks, and during that period, the three countries would work to reach an agreement “on a few pending issues.”
The talks are backed by the African Union. The 15-member Security Council expressed support for the AU action in reviving talks.
Egypt, which relies on the Nile for more than 90% of its water supplies and already faces high water stress, fears a devastating impact on its booming population of 100 million.
Ethiopia has hinged its development ambitions on the colossal dam, describing it as a crucial lifeline to bring millions out of poverty.
Sudan meanwhile stands to benefit from Ethiopia’s dam, including having access to cheap electricity and reduced flooding, but it has raised fears over the operation and safety of the Ethiopian project and says it could endanger its own dams.


Hezbollah responds to Netanyahu with a media tour of steel factory

Updated 01 October 2020

Hezbollah responds to Netanyahu with a media tour of steel factory

  • The local and international media accompanied the official of media relations in Hezbollah

BEIRUT: A few hours after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused Hezbollah, during his speech to the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday, of having "secret headquarters in the southern suburbs of Beirut," the party organized a media tour of the Jnah area that Netanyahu referred to, to deny the information he provided.

Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah responded to Netanyahu in a live speech on Tuesday night, and called on the air the media to tour the facility that Netanyahu talked about and said: "We do not place our missiles, neither in the Beirut port, nor near a gas station, nor between homes, and we know." Well, where should we place our missiles? "

The local and international media accompanied the official of media relations in Hezbollah, Muhammad Afif, to the facility that Netanyahu talked about in Jnah area and it turned out to be a steel-cutting factory and said: "We are not scouts for the enemy and we do not provide him with information, but this tour aims to reveal that these facilities have no connection with storage Weapons of resistance. "

The media tour accompanied by supporters of the party chanting for Nasrallah, during which Muhammad Afif said: "The enemy's claims are false, and this industrial facility has existed for decades."

The owner of the industrial facility in the Janah, who came in hastily at night to open the plant to the media, said: "This is a steel-cutting factory. We have workers and we work normally. Our doors are always open to everyone, and there are no missiles in it as you can see."

This plant is located in the industrial area of ​​Jnah, on the administrative borders of Beirut. Netanyahu had said of it that has "missile depots a meter away from gas depots near Beirut airport."

In information released by its spokesman, Avichai Adrai, the Israeli army identified two additional sites, which he claimed "Hezbollah used to manufacture parts for precision-guided missiles."

“One of the two sites is an underground facility built under four seven-story residential buildings in which 70 families live in the Al-Laylaki neighborhood east of Beirut International Airport, and next to it is a church and a medical center, and the second facility is under a complex of five residential buildings in which about 50 families live in Choueifat, located about 90 meters from a mosque.