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Arab, Gulf countries intervene to help with Ethiopia dam dispute

April 22, 2020 at 12:02 pm

A general view of the Blue Nile river as it passes through the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), near Guba in Ethiopia, on 26 December 2019 [EDUARDO SOTERAS/AFP via Getty Images]

Arab and Gulf countries have been working to reach an agreement between Egypt and Ethiopia on the operation of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), Egyptian sources revealed.

According to the sources, in February Addis Ababa rejected the US Treasury’s proposed agreement on the filling and operation of the dam which included technical input from the World Bank.

Al-Araby Al-Jadeed quoted diplomatic sources as saying that Egypt had succeeded in convincing Sudan to support its position in the negotiations despite the technical differences between the two sides.

The sources said that Khartoum has accepted 90 per cent of the agreement’s terms, while Addis Ababa completely rejected them.

READ: Sudan, Egypt discuss Renaissance dam file

The Egyptian sources explained that Sudan has changed its position after mutual visits between the Director of the Egyptian General Intelligence, Major General Abbas Kamel, and First Vice-President of the Sudanese Transitional Sovereign Council, General Muhammad Hamdan Daglo.

Unlike Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan see the agreement reached during US negotiations as a new starting point for negotiations.

Meanwhile, Ethiopia announced that it is willing to return to the negotiations, but with clear conditions, including the abolition of unacceptable terms and defining the role of the US Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin in the negotiations.

The sources pointed out that this position conveyed by the mediators to Egypt is considered “the beginning of a possible solution”, however Cairo does not want to be over optimistic due to previous failures.