Arab nations, assemble
Egypt gets Gulf backing on GERD: Saudi Arabia, Oman and Bahrain have given public backing to Egypt as it tries to prevent Ethiopia from pushing ahead with filling the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD). Saudi Arabia and Bahrain both expressed support for existing efforts to solve the dispute over how the dam will be filled and operated, with Riyadh calling on Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan to continue talks in search of a breakthrough. Negotiations have stalled in recent weeks after Ethiopia rejected a proposal by Egypt and Sudan to bring in international mediators, preferring to stick with the current African Union-led initiative.
The statements came shortly after President Abdel Fattah El Sisi warned Ethiopia against taking “a drop of Egypt’s water.” Ethiopian PM Abiy Ahmed reiterated last week that it intends to go ahead with the second filling of the dam this summer with or without an agreement, a step that El Sisi described yesterday as a “red line” for Egypt.