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Ethiopia Tells Egypt it is Willing to Solve GERD Dispute

Ethiopia Tells Egypt it is Willing to Solve GERD Dispute

Friday, 12 February, 2021 - 06:30
The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam as it appears in a satellite image taken on July 20, 2020 (AFP)

Ethiopia stressed on Thursday its keenness to solve differences with Egypt over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), weeks after the two sides failed to reach an agreement on the operation and filling of the mega-dam.

Ethiopian Ambassador to Cairo Markos Tekle held talks Thursday with Egypt’s Assistant Foreign Minister for African Affairs, Sherif Issa.

He explained Ethiopia’s longstanding position on the GERD negotiations and said the country was willing to resolve the remaining differences among the parties “through talks.”

Issa expressed Egypt’s commitment to hold talks on GERD, according to the Ethiopian Embassy in Cairo.

The meeting has also deliberated on bilateral relations, and the two sides exchanged views on the implementation of initiatives aimed at strengthening the historic relationship between Cairo and Addis Ababa.

Last month, the African Union-sponsored talks to reach a fair and balanced agreement between Cairo, Addis Ababa and Khartoum over the operation and filling of the mega-dam faltered.

Egypt has called GERD an existential threat and worries that it will reduce the country’s share of Nile waters.

Ethiopia says the 145-meter tall dam will be an engine of development and is vital to meet the power needs of its population.

Sudan, in the middle, worries about the effects on its own dams, although it stands to benefit from access to cheap electricity.

The Blue Nile, which meets the White Nile in the Sudanese capital, provides the great majority of the combined Nile’s flow through northern Sudan and Egypt to the Mediterranean.

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