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Sunday, 21 February 2021

Is the US going easier on Ethiopia over GERD?

Is the US going easier on Ethiopia over GERD? The US has decided to “de-link” aid payments to Ethiopia from the country’s negotiating stance in the dispute with Egypt over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), the State Department said on Friday. The White House will set “a number of factors” for the resumption of the USD 272 mn in annual aid to Ethiopia that former president Donald Trump suspended in September after it unilaterally began filling the dam without reaching an agreement with Egypt and Sudan.

As for the US’ policies regarding the other trouble kids … The US-Saudi relationship is “complicated,” with balancing the US focus on Riyadh’s human rights and the kingdom’s position as a security and intelligence ally in the Middle East seems to be “difficult,” according to the Financial Times. Although the Biden administration has already moved to end the period of cosy relations Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman enjoyed with the Trump White House, MbS is likely to evade personal blame for the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018. Biden also appears to be unlikely to go easy on China, calling on allies in his address to the annual Munich Security Conference on Friday to rebuff what he called Beijing’s “economic abuses and coercion” and framing the tensions as an ideological battle between democracy and autocracy.

IN DIPLOMACY:

On President Abdel Fattah El Sisi’s agenda over the weekend: Talks on Libya’s political reconciliation with interim Libyan Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibah, as well as pan-African development with Guinea-Bissau President Umaro Sissoco Embaló.

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