Sudan and Ethiopia agreed recently to deploy joint military forces to secure their borders amid the "Blue Nile" dam row, according to a report released by an Egyptian newspaper.
Referring to the Sudan-based English-language media outlet the Sudan Tribune, the report claimed that the joint deployment of military forces will be carried in the Blue Nile province in Sudan and Beni Shanqwl in Ethiopia.
Meanwhile, Egypt's president Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi said he expressed his "extreme concern" over the lack of progress in talks over the construction of a massive Nile dam in Ethiopia during a meeting with that country's visiting prime minister.
Egypt fears the dam, which is about 60 percent complete, will significantly reduce its vital share of the Nile's waters. Ethiopia has downplayed those fears and said it needs the dam for its own economic development.
A grim-faced President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi emerged from a meeting in Cairo yesterday with Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, saying cooperation between Nile basin countries should not be a zero-sum game, according to AP.
El-Sissi said Ethiopia has rejected an Egyptian proposal for World Bank experts to mediate the dispute.
Construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), the largest hydroelectric dam project in Africa, has poisoned relations between Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan.
The dispute centers on the control of a section of the Nile that stretches 6,695 kilometers from Lake Victoria to the Mediterranean and is the economic lifeblood of all three countries.
Cairo says the dam would threaten water supplies that have fed Egypt's agriculture and economy for thousands of years. It fears the 6,000-megawatt dam will reduce the flow it depends on for drinking water and irrigation.
Egyptian officials say safeguarding the country's quota of Nile water is a matter of national security.
Ethiopia says the GERD, which it hopes will help make it Africa's largest power exporter, will have no major effect on Egypt. It accuses Cairo of flexing its political muscle to deter financiers from backing other Ethiopian power projects.
Delegations from Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia met in Cairo in November to approve a study by a French firm commissioned to assess the dam's environmental and economic impact, but negotiations stalled when they failed to agree on the initial report with each blaming others for blocking progress.
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