Ethiopia Upbeat on Resolving GERD Feud with Egypt, Sudan

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Addis Ababa October 27/2020 (ENA) Ethiopia is confident of making headway in resolving a long-running dispute with Egypt and Sudan over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) during a fresh round of talks scheduled for Tuesday, Bloomberg read.

The negotiations on the GERD are taking place under the auspices of the African Union, chaired by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa.

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, said by phone. “We are in a much better position and environment, and we can discuss frankly and transparently.”

The resumption of negotiations following a six-week break comes days after U.S. President Donald Trump suggested Egypt could blow up the multi-billion dollar structure. 

The South African Institute of Civil Engineering and the Water Institute of Southern Africa have warned Trump’s comments could increase instability on the continent.

 “Our own experience has shown that cooperation with our neighbors on shared water has contributed to peace and prosperity,” they said in a joint statement.

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.

 The Horn of Africa country has asserted its right to construct the dam and a linked hydro-power plant, which could generate 6,000 megawatts of electricity once completed.