Egypt says accepts US invite to meet on Nile dam dispute

A general view of The Nile River, houses and agricultural land from the window of an airplane in Luxor, Egypt October 9, 2019. (Reuters/ File Photo)
Updated 23 October 2019

Egypt says accepts US invite to meet on Nile dam dispute

  • Egypt's foreign ministry said late Tuesday that Cairo had "immediately accepted" the invitation from Washington
  • The Nile serves as a crucial artery for water supplies and electricity for the 10 countries it runs through

CAIRO: Egypt has accepted a US invitation for a meeting with Sudan and Ethiopia over a protracted Nile dam dispute, the foreign ministry said.
The meeting, to be held in Washington, would bring together foreign ministers from the three Nile basin countries to try to break the stalemate in talks on Ethiopia's giant hydropower dam.
Egypt's foreign ministry said late Tuesday that Cairo had "immediately accepted" the invitation from Washington, without specifying when the meeting would take place.
Egypt has urged international mediation after saying the latest round of Nile talks that ended earlier this month had hit another "deadlock", following nine years of thwarted efforts.
Ethiopia, which says its project is needed to provide much-needed electricity, has insisted the dam would not harm downstream countries' water shares.
But Egypt is concerned the huge dam would severely reduce the flow of Nile waters and invokes its "historic rights" under decades-old treaties.
On Tuesday, Ethiopia's Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said in parliament that "no force can stop Ethiopia from building the dam", adding that millions could be mobilised if necessary.
However, he emphasised that negotiations would be the best means to resolve the issue.
Last week, Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi announced he would hold talks with the Ethiopian premier in Russia.
Both leaders are attending a Russia-Africa summit in Sochi this week.
Ethiopia has said the $4-billion dam will begin generating power by the end of 2020 and be fully operational by 2022.
The Nile serves as a crucial artery for water supplies and electricity for the 10 countries it runs through.
Its main tributaries -- the White Nile and the Blue Nile -- converge in Khartoum before flowing north through Egypt to drain into the Mediterranean Sea.
Analysts fear the three Nile basin countries could be drawn into a conflict if the dispute is not resolved before the dam begins operating.


Explosion heard in western Tehran — Iran state media

Updated 10 July 2020

Explosion heard in western Tehran — Iran state media

  • There have been multiple explosions around military, nuclear and industrial facilities in the past week
  • Last week, 19 people were killed in an explosion at a medical clinic in the north of Tehran

An explosion was heard in western Tehran on Friday, the official IRIB news agency reported, citing online reports.
There have been multiple explosions around military, nuclear and industrial facilities in the past week. IRIB did not provide any additional information about the cause of the blast or possible casualties.
Electricity has been cut in the area of the explosion in suburbs west of Tehran, IRIB reported.
Two people were killed in an explosion at a factory in the south of Tehran, state news agency IRNA reported on Tuesday.
Last Thursday, a fire broke out at a ground level building at Iran’s underground Natanz facility, the centerpiece of the country’s uranium enrichment program, which authorities said had caused significant damage.
Also last week, 19 people were killed in an explosion at a medical clinic in the north of Tehran, which an official said was caused by a gas leak.
On June 26, an explosion occurred east of Tehran near the Parchin military and weapons development base that authorities said was caused by a leak at a gas storage facility in an area outside the base.