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Sisi, Trump Discuss Egypt-Ethiopia Dam Dispute

Sisi, Trump Discuss Egypt-Ethiopia Dam Dispute

Tuesday, 5 November, 2019 - 05:45
US President Donald Trump greets Egyptian President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi during a meeting on the sidelines of the annual UN General Assembly in New York, September 23, 2019. (Reuters)

Egyptian President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi held talks on Monday with US President Donald Trump on Egypt’s dispute with Ethiopia on giant hydroelectric dam on Ethiopia’s Blue Nile.

Trump voiced support for negotiations between Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan over the issue, the White House said.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukri said last week the Trump administration had invited the three countries to a meeting in Washington on November 6 to try to break the deadlock in the talks.

Cairo fears the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) could restrict already scarce supplies of water from the Nile, on which it is almost entirely dependent. Ethiopia says the dam is crucial to its economic development.

“President Trump expressed support for Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan’s ongoing negotiations to reach a collaborative agreement on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam,” White House spokesman Judd Deere said in a statement.

The statement did not mention any meeting in Washington.

In recent weeks, Egypt has called for an external mediator on the issue, saying three-way talks have been exhausted.

Ethiopia has previously rejected the idea, and is expected to start filling the reservoir behind the dam next year.

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