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Monday, 11 June 2018

Have Egypt and Ethiopia finally reached middle ground on GERD?

Have Egypt and Ethiopia finally reached middle ground on GERD? Egypt and Ethiopia agreed on adopting “a joint vision” on the construction of Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) “based on mutual respect to the interests and development rights of the other,” Ittihadiya spokesman Bassam Rady said in a Sunday statement. President Abdel Fattah El Sisi met yesterday with Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed during his three-day visit to Cairo at Ittihadiya Palace in what is being touted as a historic summit between the two countries on an issue that have soured relations since 2011.

What’s the compromise? It appears that both sides are looking for an arrangement by which Ethiopia caters its timetable of filling the dam to Egypt’s needs in exchange for economic cooperation. This includes establishing an Egyptian industrial zone in Ethiopia, spurring private sector imports of Ethiopian meat, as well as cooperating in the fields of agriculture, livestock, and health.

Catch the joint press conference held after the meeting (watch, runtime 17;44), or read the text here.

The story is topping coverage of Egypt in the international press this morning and was picked up by newswires including Reuters and the Associated Press.

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