Any move that undermines Egypt’s water rights would trigger a response that threatens regional stability, warned the nation’s president on Tuesday.
“The water of the Nile is a red line, and we will not allow our water rights to be compromised, and any undermining of Egypt’s water [share]will have a reaction threatening the stability of the entire region,” Abdel Fattah al-Sisi told reporters after inspecting the Suez Canal following the end of a six-day blockage.
“Our battle over [Ethiopia’s] Renaissance Dam is a battle of negotiation, and we gain ground every day because we negotiate in a manner that achieves gains for everyone,” he added.
“During the next few weeks, there will be additional action for Egypt on this matter and we hope to reach a binding legal agreement on the filling and operation of the dam.”
He added, threateningly: “No one can take a drop of water from Egypt.”
The crisis between Sudan, Egypt, and Ethiopia over the Grand Ethiopia Renaissance Dam (GERD) crisis has heated up in recent months.
Ethiopia is insisting on carrying out the second filling stage of the dam in July, in a unilateral move amid a lack of agreement with neighboring Egypt and Sudan.
Egypt has said the dam would reduce the flow of water downstream. Ethiopia maintains the dam would be vital to addressing the country’s acute power shortage.
*Writing by Mahmoud Barakat