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Ethiopia Postpones Signing Nile Basin Agreement

Source: Al-Ahram 5/3/2011, Location: Africa

Ethiopian president Melis Zenawi announced that his country would postpone signing the Nile basin agreement until Egypt elects a new parliament and president. Zenawi also agreed to form a committee of Ethiopian, Egyptian and Sudanese experts to look into the Millennium Dam project.

Zenawi expressed his belief that the dam will be of good to Ethiopia and its neighboring countries. However, in consideration of the Egyptian people’s concerns and in admiration of their revolution, Ethiopia will wait until Egypt elects its new government before forming an experts committee that will examine the project further and study any potential harms. Zenwai said that although he believes the dam will not be of any harm to Egypt and other neighboring countries, he would wait until the project is further examined by a committee also representing Egypt and Sudan.

Zenawi’s decision came during an Egyptian delegation’s visit to Ethiopia. The decision only expressed the position of Ethiopia, Zenawi said, and added that other countries involved in the Nile Basin Agreement should consider taking a similar stand.

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