Ethiopia to Skip Talks on Nile Dam in Washington

ADDIS ABEA – Ministry of Water said today Ethiopia will not participate in talks on the future of a giant hydropower project on the Nile River.

Addis Ababa will skip the talks in Washington “because the country’s delegation hasn’t concluded its consultation with relevant stakeholders,” the ministry of water, irrigation and energy said in a statement posted on its Facebook page.

“The decision has been communicated with the U.S. Treasury secretary,” it said.

The talks were to be hosted by the United States on Thursday and Friday.

The announcement came amid widespread concerns in Ethiopia that its delegation has been pressured by the U.S. to reach a deal on the multibillion-dollar dam that Ethiopia is on its own money.

The U.S. became involved in the talks after Egypt’s invitation.

The Grand Renaissance Dam, its construction is 71 percent complete, will be Africa’s biggest hydroelectric power plant when completed.

It has caused a row between Egypt and Ethiopia, with Sudan caught in between, which the US has been helping to mediate. The three countries reached an initial deal last month on the filling and operation of the dam.

Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan said on Jan.31 they would sign an agreement by the end of this month to end their differences over the filling and operation of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).


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