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Ethiopia, Egypt agree to taper off tensions

Ethiopia, Egypt agree to taper off tensions

Following the meeting held in Russia, Ethiopia and Egypt have agreed to cool down the tension that arose between the two countries over the Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), The Reporter has learnt.

For weeks, the two countries were in a contentious atmosphere where Egypt was insisting on the intervention of a third party. The situation even caught the attention of the beleaguered Trump administration, whereby the White House issued a statement on the matter. 

In its statement given a few weeks ago, the US has called on the three nations to respect each other’s Nile water “equities.”

“The United States supports Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan’s ongoing negotiations to reach a cooperative, sustainable, and mutually beneficial agreement on filling and operating the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam,” read the statement.  

“All Nile Valley countries have a right to economic development and prosperity. The Administration calls on all sides to put forth good faith efforts to reach an agreement that preserves those rights, while simultaneously respecting each other’s Nile water equities,” added the statement.

Following a heated war of words between Officials of the two countries, the two were said to have settled their difference over the dam in a more diplomatic way.

Quoting Prime Minister Abiy, Ethiopian News Agency (ENA) said the discussion held was fruitful.

“We have agreed with the technical committee to look into it and to discuss about it for the decision,” said Abiy and added that “The project should not be a center of contention. We have discussed on jointly planting trees to receive the required rainfall, to which President El-Sisi has responded positively to.

This statement from the Premier comes just days after he issued a stern statement at the parliament, whereby he said: “No force will stop Ethiopia from building the dam…If we are going to war, we can deploy millions. But war is not a solution.”

Nevertheless, the meeting between the two leaders is said to have eased the tension over the construction of the dam.

Again, ENA, quoting the Premier reported stating that: “We can have a political discussion while the technical team, which has met for the fifth round so far, continues separately and unobstructed with the technical work.”

It can be recalled that just a month ago, Sileshi Bekele (PhD), Minister of Water, Irrigation and Energy, criticized Egypt over latter’s new proposal regarding the work which has been going on the GERD and said that’ “This is a technical issue and will be solved technically.”