CAIRO, July 28 (Xinhua) -- Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on Tuesday stressed that his country is committed to talks to reach a deal on the filling and operation of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) on the Nile River.
"We are keen to solve the issue of the Ethiopian dam via negotiations instead of a military option," Sisi said in televised comments made at the opening of a new industrial city in Rubiky, on the road between Cairo and Suez.
He denounced suggestions by some media channels about a military action, adding that "we negotiate for the benefits of all parties without harming our interests."
"Concerns of the Egyptians about the dam are legitimate," he said.
He said Egypt had the initiative to water its agricultural lands via a modern irrigation system, adding that the government has pumped nearly 1 trillion Egyptian pounds (more than 62 billion U.S. dollars) in investments in water treatment.
Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan agreed on July 21 to continue negotiations and to prioritize reaching a binding legal agreement on the rules of the filling and operation of the mega-dam.
The 4-billion-dollar GERD has been a source of tension in the Nile River basin since Ethiopia started constructing it in 2011.
Ethiopia expected the dam to produce over 6,000 megawatts of electricity and become Africa's largest hydropower dam upon completion.
Meanwhile, Egypt, a downstream Nile Basin country that relies on the river for its freshwater, is concerned that the dam might affect its 55.5-billion-cubic-meter annual share of the water resources. Enditem