Sudan warns on GERD
Sudan warns again of GERD threats: The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) could put as many as half the Sudanese population at risk if Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia fail to reach an agreement about how to fill and operate the dam, Irrigation Minister Yasser Abbas said Wednesday, according to Bloomberg.
But the country is refusing to join talks: Sudan will not re-enter talks with Ethiopia until it agrees to bring in new international mediators to work alongside the African Union, Abbas said. Ethiopia has refused to agree to involving additional mediators, insisting that only the AU-led process can bring an agreement. Ethiopia last week said it had completed the second filling of the dam despite protestations from Cairo and Khartoum.
New Lebanese PM-elect close to forming a government: Lebanese President Michel Aoun has accepted most of Prime Minister-designate Najib Mikati’s cabinet picks, and a government is expected to be formed “soon,” Reuters reports. Mikati was chosen this week to be the third PM-elect in less than a year, and yesterday met with the president to discuss his cabinet picks. “I gave my proposals, President Aoun approved most of them and he made some remarks which are acceptable; God willing … we will be able to form a government soon," he told reporters following the meeting.
Mikati pledged to help the country avoid an economic collapse within 100 days of forming a government, and said he had the international backing necessary to push forward with deep economic reforms during a phone interview with Bloomberg.
IN DIPLOMACY: President Abdel Fattah El Sisi discussed economic ties with South Sudan’s Vice President James Wani Igga during the first session of the Egypt and South Sudan joint higher committee yesterday, according to an Ittihadiya statement. Sisi affirmed that Egypt will continue to provide its “technical support” to South Sudan following the Made-in-Egypt Expo that kicked off there earlier this month. The two also discussed the prospect of launching a branch of Alexandria University in South Sudan.