Arab ministers to meet in Doha to discuss Ethiopia’s Renaissance Dam

Abu Dhabi: Foreign ministers of the 22 Arab countries will hold an extraordinary meeting in the Qatari capital, Doha, on Tuesday to discuss the long-running dispute with Ethiopia about a massive dam under construction on the Blue Nile River, the General Secretariat of the Arab League said in a statement.

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Ambassador Hossam Zaki, Assistant Secretary-General of the Arab League, said the extraordinary meeting is being held at the request of Egypt and Sudan, and on the sidelines of the consultative meeting of Arab foreign ministers scheduled to be held in Doha.

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Meanwhile, Egypt has also asked for help from the UN Security Council in its dispute with Ethiopia about Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).

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In a letter, Egypt complained that Ethiopia has thwarted efforts to reach a binding legal agreement on issues related to GERD to guarantee the interests of the two countries as well as Sudan.

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Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry has had recent discussions about the project with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres. US officials, including then-Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, have attempted to facilitate negotiations in recent years.

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In the latest development, Shoukry expressed Egypt’s objection to Ethiopia’s plans to continue filling the dam during the upcoming flood season over the objections of Egypt and Sudan, which fear their water supplies will be curtailed.

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GERD, designed to boost Ethiopia’s electricity generation, is on the Blue Nile about 45km from the Sudanese border. The river, which originates in Ethiopia, joins with the White Nile near Khartoum, Sudan and the Nile then flows northward through Egypt to the Mediterranean.

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