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Tuesday, 4 August 2020

Diplomacy + Foreign Trade on 4 August 2020

Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan have restarted technical talks to hash out the remaining sticking points during the second meeting of a new round of African Union-sponsored Grand Ethiopain Renaissance Dam (GERD) negotiations, cabinet said in a statement. Technical teams are due to meet today and tomorrow and present a report to the three countries’ irrigation ministers on Thursday with a focus on the immediate issues of the dam’s operation and an appropriate timeline to completely fill GERD’s reservoir, cabinet said while voicing objections on Ethiopia’s “unilateral” early filling and stressing the need for an expedited agreement. AFP, the BBC, and the Associated Press also took note of the talks.

The US State Department encouraged the three countries to engage in “constructive and fruitful” talks, saying in an emailed statement that Ethiopia is running out of time to reach an agreement, reports Bloomberg. Meanwhile, thousands of Ethiopians took to the streets to celebrate the dam’s construction after the country’s deputy prime minister called on the public to support the government ahead of the new round of talks, the Associated Press reports.

Egypt warns Turkey over Mediterranean seismic survey: Turkey’s planned seismic survey in the eastern Mediterranean would intrude into maritime territory claimed by Egypt, and would constitute “an assault” on Egypt’s sovereignty, the Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Saturday. Germany persuaded Ankara last week to suspend the survey on fears of an armed confrontation with Greece, with which it is locked in a dispute over maritime territory. Turkey has said it will halt its plans “for a while”, and promised to enter talks with Athens “without pre-condition.”

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