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Tuesday, 25 August 2020

Diplomacy + Foreign Trade on 25 August 2020

GERD talks resume ahead of Friday deadline to submit report to AU chair: Technical committees from Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia met yesterday to continue discussing a report compiling the three countries’ proposals and sticking points on the filling and operation of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), according to an Irrigation Ministry statement. The statement does not provide any details on whether the meeting yielded any progress. The committees are expected to bring a final report and a roadmap for further negotiations to African Union Chair Cyril Ramaphosa this Friday, 28 August.

Meanwhile, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed will land in Khartoum today to discuss bilateral relations with Sudanese leaders, state news agency SUNA reports. Here at home, the Foreign Ministry is rallying diplomatic support from European ambassadors, who sat down with Deputy Foreign Minister for African Affairs Hamdi Sanad Loza for a debrief on the negotiations, according to a statement.

Moscow is also cajoling Addis Ababa to help resolve the gridlock by encouraging engagement in good faith negotiations, Russian ambassador to Egypt Georgy Borisenko said earlier this week. Borisenko stressed, however, that Moscow is not taking sides on the matter.

Elsewhere in regional diplomacy: Shoukry and French Le Drian welcome Libyan cease-fire: Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry and French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian welcomed news of a ceasefire in Libya announced by the Government of National Accord (GNA) calling the move an “important step on the road to achieving a political settlement” and restoring “stability and security” in the country, during a call between the two diplomats on Sunday, according to a ministry statement. President Abdel Fattah El Sisi had welcomed the GNA’s call for a ceasefire on Friday, saying the move is “an important step on the road to achieving a political settlement.”

It seems that everyone is happy about this, except Haftar: The LNA appeared to scoff at the proposed cease-fire, deriding it as a “media stunt” on Sunday, according to Bloomberg. But since everyone giving it life support seems to be supportive, naturally, they did not reject it.

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