Ethiopia’s prime minister Abiy Ahmed took advantage of his visit to South Africa to ask for President Cyril Ramaphosa’s help in his country’s dispute with Egypt over a massive dam project on the Nile River.
Talks last week among Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan failed to reach a consensus on technical issues, including the filling of the $4.6 billion Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam. “Ethiopia always believes in a win-win approach with Egypt and the Sudan.
“And we are following the same track in the kind request for President Ramaphosa as he is a good friend for both Ethiopia and Egypt, also as incoming AU (Africa Union) chair, he can make a discussion between both parties so as to solve the issue peacefully,” Abiy said at a press briefing.
In his response, Ramaphosa told reporters he had already raised the matter with the Egyptian president.
“And the Nile River is important to both countries and there must be a way in which their interests can be addressed and there must be a way in which a solution can be found.”
The water ministers of Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt are expected to meet again Monday in Washington to report on their progress. Egypt fears that the dam will cut its share of water from the Nile.