By Tesfa-Alem Tekle, ST
Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi said on Tuesday that his country has no intention to hurt the peoples of Egypt and instead wants win-win solution over the use of the Nile waters.
Speaking to lawmakers Zenawi called on Egyptians to realize the construction of Dam on the Nile River is not intended to destroy lives of Egyptians instead it is for the advantage of Egyptians as well.
“We want the Egyptian people to know that we are not their enemy” Zenawi said adding “we want joint cooperation based on mutual interest for the better future of the peoples of the two countries”.
Ethiopia last week launched construction of $4.7 billion massive hydropower project in its Nile basin near its border with Sudan.
The Ethiopian premier said he was not concerned by predictions that the two countries could be drawn into conflict over the issue.
“Such a concern is over exaggerated” Zenawi said, adding “it is something we give 5% preparation to”.
He however said the main concern now is what he termed it was “indirect attacks’’ from Egypt accusing the north African country of supporting home-based destructive forces to destabilize Ethiopia and disrupt the dam projects.
The huge investment on Nile dam, funded solely by the government, is the biggest amount of money the Horn Nation has invested on a hydropower dam. Ethiopia accuses Egypt of being engaged in a continuous campaign to convince international donors to refrain financing Ethiopian projects on the River Nile telling them the risk of conflict.