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Wednesday, 8 July 2020

Legal, technical sticking points persist on 5th day of GERD talks; Israel gets warning on West Bank annexation

Day 5 of GERD talks finish with no breakthrough: Positions remained entrenched during the fifth day of high-stakes talks over the future of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), with Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan still unable to agree a framework for filling and operating the dam. Parallel meetings were held by the countries’ legal and technical teams yesterday ahead of more bilateral talks to be held today, according to the Egyptian Cabinet.

Meanwhile, Ethiopian PM Abiy Ahmed is continuing to play hardball, telling Al Arabiya that Ethiopia is set to begin filling the dam’s reservoir to take advantage of the ongoing heavy rain season. Ahmed said that the move is not meant to hurt Egypt and Addis Ababa still intends to reach an agreement with downstream Cairo and Khartoum over the dam through the ongoing talks.

Egypt, France, Germany, and Jordan warn Israel on West Bank annexation: The foreign ministers of Egypt, France, Germany and Jordan have warned Israel that attempts to annex parts of the West Bank will harm diplomatic ties and have “serious consequences” for regional stability in a joint statement published by the German Foreign Ministry. The four countries said that they will not recognize any changes to the 1967 borders and that unilateral moves would be a violation of international law.

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