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Sunday, 22 November 2020

Diplomacy + Foreign Trade on Sunday, 22 November 2020

Headlining diplomacy news this morning: Sudan boycotts “useless” GERD talks: Sudan walked away from negotiations over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) scheduled to take place yesterday, calling the previous rounds of talks “useless” and urging the African Union to step in to mediate the process, Sudan’s news agency SUNA reports. The meeting was set to bring together the foreign ministers of Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan to try and agree on how to proceed with the talks. Egypt has insisted that Sudan return to the negotiating table (watch, runtime: 1:12).

Speaking of water: Irrigation and Water Resources Minister Mohamed Abdel Aty held a virtual meeting with a World Bank delegation to discuss reforms being made to the country’s water infrastructure, including the use of less water-intensive irrigation systems, the ministry said in a statement yesterday.

In trade news, some 650 exporters want to receive their overdue subsidies in a single lump sum, and more can still apply until 30 November, Finance Minister Mohamed Maait said, according to Hapi Journal. Maait didn’t specify how much those exporters are entitled to. Exporters earlier this year agreed to take a 15% haircut on their arrears as a condition of receiving the payouts this year, rather than spacing out the payments over four to five years. Exporters who choose to receive the full amount will be paid out under the original timeline.

The Export Development Fund will start doling out lump sum payments worth EGP 3.2 bn today to the first batch of 323 companies (of 903 applications received), Trade and Industry Minister Nevin Gamea said yesterday.

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