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Egypt: Sisi vows to protect countrie's Nile use


Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has said that he will protect the country's water supply whilst seeking peace with Sudan and Ethiopia, two countries it has been rowing with over territory and the use of the Nile, news agency AFP reports.

Mr Sisi said in a speech on state TV that he would seek peace with the neighbouring countries, adding that "Egypt will not go to war with its brothers".

Egypt fears Ethiopia's Grand Renaissance Dam will affect water supply to the country which almost entirely depends on the Nile.

It has long maintained that it has historic rights to use the Nile, and to veto projects on the world's longest river.

Egypt also had a contentious row with Sudan over Halayeb triangle, which lies near the Red Sea in a mineral-rich border region. Both countries claim ownership of the territory, which Egypt currently controls.

Last May, Sudan banned imports of Egyptian agricultural and animal products. It recalled its ambassador from Cairo on 4 January for "consultations".

Mr Sisi said in his TV address that the country would strengthen its military, adding:

This is a national security need... You have military power to protect you, to protect this peace I'm talking about.

We always make sure that we stay within our borders, not conspire against anyone, not interfere in others' affairs."
Mr Sisi said his message was directed at Egyptians as well as "our brothers in Sudan and in Ethiopia so that the issue becomes clear for them."

The Egyptian president announced last week that the country is building a massive wastewater treatment and desalination plant to cope with potential shortages.

Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry visited the Ethiopian capital last month for talks on the Renaissance Dam project on the Blue Nile.

The hydroelectric dam is designed to produce 6,000 megawatts of power - the equivalent of six nuclear-powered plants.

The construction began in 2012 and was initially expected to commission it in 2017. But Ethiopian media reports say only about 60 percent has so far been built.


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