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Thursday, 10 December 2020

Around the world on 10 December 2020

IN DIPLOMACY: We’re signaling we’re probably okay with bringing Qatar in from the cold. Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry praised progress that could lead to a reconciliation between Qatar and the Arab Quartet, but said that any agreement must be “clear on the obligations required from all parties,” in an interview on TenTV on Tuesday (watch, runtime: 16:50). Egypt, along with Bahrain, the UAE, and Saudi Arabia, has been locked in a dispute with Qatar since 2017, severing diplomatic and trade ties with the island state in response to alleged support for terrorism. Saudi Arabia and Qatar have in recent days signalled progress in reaching an agreement to end the three-year dispute, while Egypt and the UAE have both hailed Kuwait’s mediation efforts. Bloomberg picked up on Shoukry’s comments.

Could we have a GERD agreement in 6 months’ time? Ethiopia’s ambassador in Cairo thinks so, telling Sputnik News that he hopes an agreement can be reached before the next rainy season, when Ethiopia plans to fill its dam reservoir for the second time. Negotiations came to a standstill last month after Sudan opted out of the talks and called for more involvement from the African Union, as an ongoing conflict in Ethiopia’s Tigray region threatened to destabilize the country. Talks between the three countries broke down in August over disagreements on the timeline for the filling and operation of the dam.

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