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Egypt calls for Arab support in Ethiopia dam dispute

Egypt is counting on Arab nations to pressure Ethiopia to halt its “unilateral practices” over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said yesterday.

“The continuation of Ethiopia’s unilateral practices can potentially carry a grave danger for Egypt, which suffers from water scarcity,” Shoukry told Arab foreign ministers in the Egyptian capital of Cairo, noting that his country was “near total dependence on River Nile waters.”

He added that the Ethiopian government was continuing its “unilateral and uncooperative practices,” urging the Arab countries to persuade Addis Ababa “to embrace the necessary political will to accept one of the compromise solutions offered on the negotiations table.”

Since 2011, Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia have been in talks to reach an agreement on filling and operating the dam, but rounds of negotiations have yet to yield to a consensus agreement.

In August, Addis Ababa announced the completion of the third filling phase, despite Egypt’s official objection to the move, amid the freezing of negotiations between the two sides for more than a year.

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