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The Ethiopian government ridiculed Egypt’s lobby of the international community to stand against the construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) that is being built on the Abay/Blue Nile river basin.
Ambassador Dina Mufti, spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that Ethiopia is working to get Egypt back to the negotiating table over technical issues that were halted last month after Egypt raised the prospect of pausing talks until down-stream countries agreed on the details recommendations delivered by a committee made up with members of the three down-stream countries [Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt]. However, Egypt wants additional issues to be addressed other than what the three countries previously agreed to. Ethiopia has strongly refused the North African country’s request.  Since then the tripartite discussion has been about implementing the recommendation given by the International Panel of Experts (IPoE). Currently Egypt is working to lobby countries not only near the river basin but throughout the world.
In the past week Egyptian foreign minister Nabil Fahmy, has been very busy, visiting various countries in Europe and Africa to lobby them for their support to halt the project. Ambassador Dina said that Egypt has to focus on cooperation rather than using the major part of the river independently.
“Their campaign to halt the project is unacceptable,” the spokesperson stressed.
In the past week the Egyptian foreign minister and Mohamed Abdul Muttalib, Minister of Irrigation, have visited two European countries, Italy and Norway to lobby the countries against Ethiopia’s multibillion dollar hydro electric project that is being  constructed in the western part of the country close to the  Sudanese border.
Currently milti- national companies are participating in the project directly or indirectly. The civil work of the project is currently being undertaken by the Italian giant Salini Constructori Spa, which has successfully constructed three other hydro electric projects during the past decade in the country.
Currently Salini is constructing the other huge dam Gibe III at the Omo River in the southwestern part the country, while another Italian consultancy firm ELC is also consulting the electromechanical part of GERD that will have a generating capacity of 6,000mw.
The current Egyptian officials visit in Italy is not new. In the past few year officials have met with their Italian counterparts to talk about the project.
Egyptian officials have favored lobbying the international community rather than sitting for a dialogue with Ethiopia and Sudan. Recently PM Hailemariam Desalegn said that the Ethiopian government is willing to talk with Egypt based on the recommendation of the Experts. “To make the issue internationalized would not be advantageous for Egypt. It is better to work together with the downstream countries of the river,” he said.
The Egyptian officials also visited Nile upstream countries including  Tanzania and DRC last week.