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Security Council expected to discuss Ethiopia's dam Thursday

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Egypt said Wednesday Ethiopia's dam on the Nile is a threat to its existence and that of neighboring Sudan.

"The situation affects the livelihoods and is an existential threat to both the peoples of Egypt and Sudan, and we deemed important that the Security Council would address the issue. It did so last year, and it's even more evident this year that it's a matter that the international community must address to guarantee the continuation of negotiations in an enhanced format, but also guarantee the preservation of peace and security in the region and the avoidance of any escalating conflict related to this issue," said Sameh Shoukry, Egypt's foreign minister. 

Shoukry's remarks came as the Security Council was expected to discuss the dam dispute on Thursday.

The meeting was requested by Cairo and Khartoum through Tunisia which has submitted a draft resolution to the UN Security Council, calling on Ethiopia to cease filling the GERD’s reservoir.

The draft resolution, obtained by the AFP news agency, calls on Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan “to resume negotiations at the joint invitation of the Chairperson of the African Union and the Secretary-General of the United Nations to finalize, within a period of six months, the text of a binding agreement on the filling and operation of the GERD”.

The resolution adds the agreement should “ensure Ethiopia’s ability to generate hydropower from the GERD while preventing the inflicting of significant harm on the water security of downstream states”.

Addis Ababa on Monday began the second-phase filling of the dam's reservoir infuriating its neighbors downstream, who wanted the operation to start after an agreement.

Ethiopia had previously announced it would proceed to the second stage of filling in July, with or without a deal.

On Wednesday, the Ethiopian government met with envoys of the Nile riparian states. Addis Ababa has said a resolution to the almost decade-long dispute should be left to the African Union.

The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam which will be the largest in Africa once completed is expected to generate more than 6,000MW of electricity. 

Ethiopia says the project is essential to its development, but the governments in Cairo and Khartoum fear it could restrict their water supply.

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