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Thursday, 18 March 2021

Around the World

Ethiopia has no plans to delay the second filling of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, which will go ahead as planned during the rainy season in July, Ethiopia’s Water Minister Seleshi Bekele told the press yesterday on the 10-year anniversary of the dam’s construction. Ethiopia began filling the reservoir last year without an agreement with Egypt and Sudan on a timetable for filling and operating the dam. Negotiations on the dam have continued to stall after Ethiopia rejected Sudan and Egypt’s proposal for mediation through an international quartet, with Ethiopian Foreign Minister Demke Mekonnen this week saying that an agreement can be reached through tripartite negotiations. Egypt and Sudan are reportedly aiming for a 15 April deadline to reach a binding agreement.

Egypt is taking its water problems to the UN with a statement — signed by 155 countries — on the recommendations to address these challenges ahead of the General Assembly meeting today on the water-related goals and targets of the 2030 agenda, Egypt’s permanent representative to the UN Mohamed Idris said in a statement. The statement stresses on the necessity of mediation efforts and effective water negotiations to avoid conflicts and achieve water security and regional stability.

WHO’S TALKING- On the foreign diplomacy front, President Abdel Fattah El Sisi and Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis discussed EastMed developments, while Foreign Minister Sameh Shouky and his Swedish counterpart Ann Linde talked strengthening cooperation between the two countries. On the development front, Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly and UN Resident Coordinator for Egypt Elena Panova looked at the EGP 500 bn Decent Life initiative.

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