Ethiopia Upbeat on Resolving Dam Feud with Egypt, Sudan

ADDIS ABEBA – Ethiopia is confident of making headway in resolving a long-running dispute with Egypt and Sudan over a giant dam Addis Abeba is building on a Blue Nile River, its negotiator said on Tuesday.

The negotiations on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam is set to take place later today under the auspices of the African Union, chaired by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, Sudanese counterpart Abdalla Hamdok and President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi of Egypt are all expected to attend the virtual meeting.

Talks will continue with “a general understanding” on contentious issues, such as how to deal with future developments on the river, Zerihun Yigzaw, a member of Ethiopia’s negotiation team, told Bloomberg News by phone.

“We are in a much better position and environment, and we can discuss frankly and transparently,” he added.

The resumption of negotiations came few days after U.S. President Donald Trump suggested Egypt could blow up the multi-billion dollar structure – a statement that angers many Ethiopians.

Ethiopia vowed not to cave into pressure and said it’s committed to cooperation on the Nile, based on mutual trust and equitable and reasonable utilization of the river.

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