President al-Sisi vows to protect Egypt’s Nile use

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has vowed to protect the country’s water supply whilst seeking to diffuse tension with Sudan and Ethiopia, two countries that it has been engrossed in a row with over the use of River Nile.

Cairo has long expressed fears that a dam that Addis Ababa is building will threaten water supplies that have fed Egypt’s agriculture and economy for thousands of years.

Ethiopia however hopes the Grand Renaissance Dam will help make it Africa’s biggest power exporter.

The North African country in December sought help from the United Nations in the resolving of the row with Ethiopia.

Al-Sisi in a speech on state television said he would seek peace with the neighbouring countries.

“Egypt will not go to war with its brothers,” he said.

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.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn will visit Egypt this week to discuss bilateral issues, with a main focus on the Grand Renaissance Dam row.

Egypt, a largely desert nation of around 95 million people, is highly dependent on the Nile’s water for its economy.