There is 'urgent need' for Egypt and Ethiopia to reach GERD deal: US envoy to African Horn

Ahram Online , Tuesday 2 Nov 2021

US special envoy to the African Horn Jeffrey Feltman said on Tuesday that the administration of US President Joe Biden believes there is an "urgent need" for an acceptable deal to be reached by Egypt and Ethiopia over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).

File photo: U.N. Under-Secretary for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman. Reuters

In a meeting with the US Institute of Peace on Tuesday over the US policy on Ethiopia, Feltman spoke about the latest developments in the Horn of Africa, especially with regards to Ethiopia and Sudan.

The talks between Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia under the auspices of the African Union reached a deadlock in April. Various attempts to revive the talks, whether through the African Union or the US envoy to the African Horn, have failed so far.

Feltman addressed the developments on the ground concerning the ongoing fight between Ethiopian forces and the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF).

The special UN envoy accused the Ethiopian government of using drones from "questionable sources, including reportedly US adversaries," indicating that Ethiopia is using Chinese and Iranian drones in its fight against the TPLF.

Feltman stated that he is ready to travel to Ethiopia to mediate in the conflict, while warning that the country's unity is at stake as the TPLF advances towards Addis Abba.

The veteran US diplomat also slammed Eritrea, saying that "it has played an extremely damaging and destructive role."

Concerning the developments in Sudan, Feltman said that President Biden has described the recent developments in the country as a "dangerous setback."

Feltman also said that it is necessary to restore the partnership between the military and civilians and to release all detainees in Sudan.

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