Washington to facilitate talks on controversial Renaissance Dam

US President Donald Trump has invited the foreign ministers of Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan to go to Washington to hold talks on the giant hydroelectric dam on Ethiopia’s Blue Nile.

The huge project, named Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), is the subject of dispute, mainly between Ethiopia and Egypt.

Egypt, which relies almost totally on the Nile for irrigation and drinking water, fears the dam will restrict Nile River flows. Besides, Egypt claims it has “historic rights” to the river, guaranteed by treaties from 1929 and 1959.

White House spokesman Judd Deere said Trump voiced support for negotiations between Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan over the giant hydroelectric dam on Ethiopia’s Blue Nile, at a phone conversation with the Egyptian President Monday.

After the phone call, the Egyptian President took to tweeter to thank President Trump for his “efforts to sponsor the tripartite negotiations.” He expressed “full confidence in this generous sponsorship, which will find an agreement that safeguards the rights of all parties in the framework of international law and human justice”.

White House spokesperson Judd Deere said the objective of the Washington talks was to reach a “collaborative agreement” on the dam dispute. He did not disclose the date of the meeting, but according to some press reports, the talks would start this Wednesday, Oct. 6.

The talks in Washington follow a deadlock in drawn-out negotiations, with Ethiopia rejecting Egyptian proposals to resolve the dispute, and Sudan, which stands to benefit from the hydropower dam, quietly siding with Addis Ababa.

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