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Sunday, 25 October 2020

Trump suggests Egypt could order military strike on GERD

Trump suggests Egypt could order military strike on GERD: In a moment of classic Trumpian diplomacy, the US president suggested on Thursday that Egypt could order a military strike on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) if it is unable to reach an agreement with Ethiopia (watch, runtime: 3:00). “It’s a very dangerous situation because Egypt is not going to be able to live that way and they’ll end up blowing up the dam … they have to do something,” he told Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok in front of reporters. “They should have stopped it long before it was started.”

The idea seemingly has the backing of Mubarak-era irrigation minister Mohamed Nasr Allam, who wrote on Facebook that Trump’s comments are a “green light” for Egypt to strike the dam. President Abdel Fattah El Sisi has repeatedly stressed that Egypt wants a peaceful resolution on GERD, but Ethiopia’s leaders have repeatedly raised the spectre of war over the dam.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed shot back at the suggestion: Ahmed said that threats towards the dam were “misguided, unproductive and clear violations of international law” in a statement that didn’t mention specific countries but came just hours after Trump’s comments.

African Union to step into GERD talks in the coming days: Ongoing negotiations between Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) have failed to find a breakthrough and are likely to change course in the coming days, Irrigation Minister Mohamed Abdel Aty told MBC’s Yahduth Fi Masr on Thursday (watch, runtime: 3:37). The African Union is likely to re-engage with the three sides after Sudan asked that trilateral negotiations be suspended, he said. The European Union’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell also called for the talks to resume yesterday.

Egypt doesn’t get the “lion’s share” of Nile waters as Ethiopia claims, Abdel Aty said in an interview with Sky News Arabia (watch, runtime: 2:04). The Nile is also the country’s only reliable water source as groundwater sources are non-renewable and away from urban centers, Abdel Aty added. Ethiopia has been arguing that Egypt gets most of the river’s water and is attempting to establish exclusive control, Abdel Aty said (watch, runtime: 2:47).

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