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President Trump Hosts Talks on Ethiopian Dam Dispute, with Ethiopia, Egypt, and Sudan

Nov. 7, 2019 (EIRNS)—President Donald Trump hosted talks at the White House on Nov. 6 over the decades-long regional dispute among Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia regarding the Grand Ethiopia Renaissance Dam (GERD) on the country’s Blue Nile. With Trump as host, the meeting included Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Foreign Ministers Sameh Hassan Shoukry of Egypt, Gedu Andargachew of Ethiopia, and Asma Mohamed Abdalla of Sudan; and World Bank Group President David Malpass. After the White House meeting, the ministers continued discussions with Mnuchin and Malpass. The meeting was an initiative of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, who requested that Trump host the negotiations over the dam.

Following the meeting, Trump tweeted:

“Just had a meeting with top representatives from Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan to help solve their long-running dispute on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, one of the largest in the world, currently being built. The meeting went well and discussions will continue during the day!”

A joint statement by the ministers read:

“The ministers reaffirmed their joint commitment to reach a comprehensive, cooperative, adaptive, sustainable, and mutually-beneficial agreement on the filling and operation of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam and to establish a clear process for fulfilling that commitment in accordance with the 2015 Declaration of Principles.”

Steven Mnuchin and David Malpass also signed it, Deutsche Welle reported.

The ministers’ statement also affirmed they would continue negotiations in talks to be held in Washington on Dec. 9 and Jan. 13, 2020 with the aim of finding a resolution by Jan. 15, 2020. The Nile provides both water and electricity to the ten countries through which it passes. Sudan and Egypt, the two downstream nations from the Blue Nile in Ethiopia, fear that the project could threaten their water supply. Egypt, which has suffered from a water crisis in recent years, relies on the river for 90% of its drinking water.

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