Ethiopian premier arrives in Khartoum for talks with Sudanese officials amid GERD tensions

Ahram Online , Tuesday 25 Aug 2020

Abiy Ahmed is visiting Sudan amid the continuing disputes over the controversial dam project Addis Ababa is building on the Blue Nile

Abiy Ahmed
Ethiopia's Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed arrived in Khartoum on Tuesday morning for a one-day visit and was received by Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, Sudanese news agency SUNA reported.

The Ethiopian visit coincides with a visit by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to Sudan on the same day for talks with a number of Sudanese officials.

Ahmed’s trip comes amid continuing disputes between his country and Sudan and Egypt over the controversial dam project Addis Ababa is building on the Blue Nile.

"The visit will discuss bilateral relations with Sudanese officials and means to boost cooperation between the two sides," Ethiopia's ambassador in Khartoum Yibeltal Aemero told SUNA on Monday, without providing details on whether the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) issue will be tackled.

The GERD, built 15 kilometres from the Ethiopian border with Sudan, has been a source of contention between the three countries.

Cairo fears the project will significantly cut its crucial water supplies from the River Nile, while Sudan fears it could endanger the safety of its own dams.

Ethiopia says the massive project, which it hopes will make it Africa’s largest power exporter, is key to its development efforts.

Renewed negotiations mediated by the African Union to reach a deal over the filling and operation of the nearly $5 billion GERD were launched last month after the talks between the three countries had reached deadlock last year, as did negotiations sponsored by the US and World Bank in February.

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