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Monday, 26 February 2018

Egypt is concerned about a shift in Ethiopia’s stance on GERD following Desalegn’s resignation

It is an achingly quiet day (in a nice way) for Egypt in the international press:

Egypt is concerned that Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn’s resignation will once again stall negotiations over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), Ahmed Megahid writes for The Arab Weekly. “Egypt’s main fear is that radical political change in Ethiopia could allow Addis Ababa to change its negotiating position on the dam project” while construction of the dam continues uninterrupted, Megahid says. Addis Ababa, Cairo, and Khartoum had been making modest progress on resolving the impasse last month following a meeting of the three countries’ presidents. Media reports had claimed that a potential resolution would have seen Egypt temporarily reducing its cultivation of water-intensive crops and rely on imports instead while Ethiopia filled the dam’s reservoir, and Addis Ababa would reimburse Cairo for the extra costs. However, it now remains unclear whether the incoming Ethiopian government “will follow the negotiating line pursued by Desalegn’s administration.”

Also worth a quick skim:

  • The death toll in a building collapse in Cairo’s Manshiet Nasser on Thursday has risen to 12, while 19 were injured, Reuters reports.
  • Many Israeli generals were skeptical about Egypt’s commitment to peace during President Anwar El Sadat’s historic visit in 1977, Haaretz reports (paywall).
  • Two Coptic Christian asylum seekers in Australia “fear for their lives if they are deported to their native Egypt when their visas expire within weeks,” Carolyn Webb writes for The Age.
  • Egyptian authorities detained 54-year-old Australian citizen Hazem Hamouda in Cairo last month on charges of supporting a terrorist organization and spreading false news, The Age reports.

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