November 18, 2018 / 2:17 PM / 23 days ago

Egypt and Ethiopia to discuss Nile dam dispute - PM

CAIRO, Nov 18 (Reuters) - Egypt said on Sunday it would hold talks with Ethiopia in the next two weeks to iron out differences over an Ethiopian dam on the River Nile that Cairo sees as a threat to its water supplies.

The two countries and Sudan have held a series of meetings over the $4 billion hydroelectric Grand Renaissance Dam, but have yet to reach a deal on managing flows and other issues.

Egypt fears the scheme will restrict the waters flowing down from Ethiopia’s highlands, through the deserts of Sudan, to its fields and reservoirs. Ethiopia, which wants to become Africa’s biggest power exporter, says it will have no such impact.

Egypt’s prime minister, Mostafa Madbouly, said he and his Ethiopian counterpart Abiy Ahmed agreed “to start bilateral discussions in the next two weeks to agree on the points that remain unagreed,” state news agency MENA reported.

MENA cited Abiy as saying he wanted to preserve Egypt’s Nile river rights.

In August, Abiy acknowledged that, having initially been expected to be completed by 2020, the dam would be delayed by several years.

Reporting by Ali Abdelaty; Writing by Yousef Saba; Editing by Sami Aboudi and Andrew Heavens

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