Leaders from Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan signed a co-operation deal on Monday over a giant Ethiopian hydroelectric dam on a tributary of the river Nile, in a bid to ease tensions over regional water supplies.
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Ethiopia's bold decision to pay for a huge dam itself has overturned generations of Egyptian control over the Nile's waters, and may help transform one of the world's poorest countries into a regional hydropower hub.
Egypt's new military-backed cabinet made clear on Saturday it wanted to play an assertive role in regional politics, urging Ethiopia to attend talks over a dam on the Nile and stressing it sought change in Syria.
Egypt insisted it can block dams and other projects upstream on the Nile, challenging a new deal among African nations seeking to alter historic water sharing arrangements and secure more water for farms and growth.
Four African countries