By Engidu Woldie
ESAT News (January 22, 2018)
Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn rejected arbitration by World Bank over dam dispute as requested by Egypt last month.
Desalegn was speaking to the state run news agency upon his return from a visit to Cairo where he held talks with Egyptian President Abdel Fetah Al Sisi, senior Egyptian officials and the business community.
“They (Egypt) had suggested to us and the Sudan that a third party, the World Bank, should take part in the negotiations. But we made our position clear that we are not going to accept the suggestion. It is not necessary to take the issue to an international body,” the Prime Minister said in Addis Ababa.
“The three parties should resolve the issue among themselves. We need to deepen our negotiations and seek help from technical experts,” he said.
“Technical studies should be implemented and politics should not intervene in technical issues,” he noted.
Egypt had requested last month that the World Bank should intervene to break the deadlock in dam negotiations.
Egypt says the $5 billion mega hydroelectric dam would cut into its share of the Nile water, but Ethiopia insists otherwise. Egypt gets 86% of its water from the Nile river.
Ethiopia says 60% of the construction of the dam is completed and will soon begin filling the reservoir.