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Tuesday, 15 September 2020

Diplomacy + Foreign Trade on 15 September 2020

Leading coverage on the diplomatic front this morning: Kenya has done a U-turn on its decision to slap 25% tariffs on Egyptian exports. Kenya has proposed to extend the Comesa trade agreement until June 2021, backpedaling on its threat to leave the agreement and introduce 25% tariffs on Egyptian goods, according to Hapi Journal. Kenya is instead urging member states to agree to ratify a unified tripartite trade agreement between Comesa, the Southern African Development Community (SADC), and the East African Community, claiming that it's not feasible to conform to different commercial arrangements while holding multiple memberships in trade blocs.

In other Comesa news, the organization announced the launch of a new application that will allow clearing and forwarding agents to view current bond balance and active customs documents to facilitate the movement of trade between member countries and decrease costs, according to a press release (pdf).

Did Ethiopia make flooding in Sudan worse? Ethiopia’s unilateral filling of the Grand Renaissance Ethiopian Dam (GERD) directly contributed to the severe Blue Nile flooding that caused mass devastation in Sudan, Irrigation Minister Mohamed Abdel Aty said in statements to Al Shorouk.

All foreign forces must exit Libya if there is to be a political solution to the conflict, Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry told his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov in a phone call yesterday.

General Khalifa Haftar, commander of the Libyan National Army, met with an Egyptian security delegation in Benghazi yesterday to discuss bilateral ties and the security situation in Libya, Al Masry Al Youm reports.

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