Thursday, May 22, 2014

US government urges Ethiopia, Egypt to resolve GERD conflict | Infrastructure news

The US government has urged Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia to work out their differences surrounding the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam.
Speaking during an online press conference, United States Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Linda Thomas-Greenfield said that the two countries needed to resume negotiations immediately for mutual benefit. “We knew that some talks had taken place and we encourage them to continue to have more talks so that they can find a solution that benefits both sides,” she said.
Meanwhile Egypt’s presidential frontrunner Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi has expressed his willingness to visit Ethiopia for talks to resolve the Nile water dispute.
Al-Sisi said he will not hesitate to make any effort for his country and its water rights. “Dialogue and understanding are the best way to resolve the crisis. This is better than going into a dispute or an enmity with anyone,” he told the Al-Ahram Daily.
GERD, located on the Blue Nile River in Ethiopia, 42km from the Sudan border, is one of the largest hydropower dam projects in Africa. Ethiopia’s plans to build the $6.4 billion hydroelectric dam caused tension with Egypt because of the dam’s location in Egypt’s primary water source.
According to Thomas-Greenfield, Egypt has repeatedly voiced concerns against the dam, fearing that it will decrease the volume of the water the country has been receiving from the Nile. The Ethiopian government has insisted on its right to develop its natural resources and believes that the dam will not significantly affect the water volume of the downstream countries.

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