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Tuesday, 22 September 2020

Egypt's foreign minister travels to US in latest bid to seal Washington deal on Ethiopian dam

Last year, the US Treasury intervened to facilitate talks between Egypt and Sudan, as tensions over the GERD mounted

Menna Alaa El-Din , Tuesday 25 Feb 2020
Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan FMs with US
Foreign and irrigation ministers of Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia in their meeting in January with US President Donald Trump (Photo: White House)
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Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry travelled to Washington on Tuesday to participate in US-sponsored ministerial-level meetings with Ethiopia and Sudan on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), as the three countries aim to seal a deal on the controversial dam by the end of the month.

According to a statement by the Egyptian foreign ministry, Shoukry will participate with Ethiopian and Sudanese counterparts in the meetings on Thursday and Friday, in the attendance of the World Bank.

Last year, the US Treasury intervened to facilitate talks between Egypt and Sudan as tensions over the under-construction dam as talks ended in deadlock.

Tensions had been building between Egypt and Ethiopia in the previous months after talks on the technical details governing the operation of the dam had failed to make progress.

Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan are planning that the final agreement on the filling and operation of the dam be signed by the end of this month.

Earlier this month, the three countries agreed to entrust the US and the World Bank with the preparation of the final agreement on the filling and operation of the dam, to be signed by the end of this month.

On Monday, Sudan’s Irrigation Minister Yasser Abbas said the draft deal prepared by the US Treasury Department had been sent to all three countries.

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi stressed on Saturday his "commitment to the success of negotiations" on the dam, saying that the agreement would secure a balance between all parties involved.

Ethiopia hopes that the massive $4.8 billion megaproject on the Blue Nile, which has been under construction since 2011, will allow it to become Africa’s largest power exporter.

Cairo fears the dam will diminish its water supply from the Nile, on which it relies for the vast majority of its fresh water.

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