Recent studies of Egypt's long-standing dispute with Ethiopia over the distribution of the waters of the Nile River assume that the adoption of the Nile Basin Initiative in 1999 heralded a sharp turn toward regional conciliation and harmony. This assumption is unwarranted, given Cairo's insistence that its “historic rights” to the Nile be preserved and the belligerent response by Egyptian politicians to Ethiopia's inauguration of the Millennium Project in the spring of 2013. A careful survey of recent relations between the two states demonstrates that the dispute retains a high potential for severe conflict.

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