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Wednesday, 24 March 2021

Around the World on 24 March 2021

Egypt and Jordan will work on telecoms, energy, trade, housing, and archaeology projects after signing seven agreements during Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly’s visit to Amman yesterday to attend the Egyptian-Jordanian Joint Higher Committee meetings, according to a cabinet statement. Madbouly discussed with Jordanian Prime Minister Bisher Al Khasawneh the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam and continued diplomatic efforts in reaching a two state solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, according to a separate statement.

Ethiopia will continue with plans to fill the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam in the upcoming rainy season, and “has absolutely no desire whatsoever to cause harm to Egypt nor to Sudan,” Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said in an address to the Ethiopian House of Representatives Tuesday. In a separate statement, Ahmed said the country would lose USD 1 bn if it lets the rainy season pass without filling the dam, and that despite opposition, the dam “will be completed as promised.”

Meanwhile, Sudan is backing an initiative by the UAE to mediate the GERD impasse and other border disputes with Ethiopia, Information Minister Hamza Baloul said, according to Reuters. Ethiopia has expressed opposition to a plan put forward by Sudan and Egypt to involve international mediators in stalled talks on the filling and operation of the dam.

IN DIPLOMACY: The conflicts in Libya, Syria and Yemen, as well as the revival of Israeli‑Palestinian peace talks were on the agenda for Egyptian Deputy Foreign Minister Alaa Roushdi and Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Vershinin, according to a statement.

Saudi truce proposal rejected by Yemen rebels: Saudi-led coalition warplanes launched air raids on Houthi camps in Yemen’s capital Sana’a yesterday, hours after a Saudi peace proposal was rejected by the rebel group, according to Bloomberg.

The US and the EU may start working more closely to contain China’s rise: US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken will meet with EU foreign policy head Josep Borrell today to relaunch the US-EU China dialogue, a group set up last year to coordinate responses to China on security and human rights issues, the Financial Times reports, quoting people in the know.

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