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Monday, 17 May 2021

US says it supports GERD talks, but won't mediate

The US is pushing Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan to “urgently” resume negotiations over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD). Following a 10-day tour of the region, Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa Jeffrey Feltman called for the resumption of talks, which have been stalled since April after the three sides were unable to agree on how to proceed with negotiations. “Egypt and Sudan’s concerns over water security and the safety and operation of the dam can be reconciled with Ethiopia’s development needs through substantive and results-oriented negotiations,” Feltman said, after holding separate talks with all three sides earlier this month.

But Washington isn’t willing to play mediator right now: Feltman expressed support for the current negotiations being led by the African Union and said the US is ready to provide “political and technical support.” Cairo and Khartoum have both called for new mediators to enter the fray alongside the AU, while Ethiopia has insisted that the AU should remain the sole player in the process.

More of the same, coming soon: Feltman will return to the region “in short order” to continue what the administration calls an “intensive diplomatic effort” to find a way out of the crisis. [

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