Egypt accepts invitation to meet in US over Ethiopia dam dispute

Ethiopia's Nobel-winning prime minister warns Egypt over dam project

Ethiopia's Nobel-winning prime minister warns Egypt over dam project

Asked about a dispute with Egypt over the giant hydropower dam on Ethiopia's Blue Nile, Abiy said: "No force will stop Ethiopia building the dam".

Egypt has now accepted a United States invitation to meet, after calling for global mediation to break the stalemate in the nine-year talks. Egypt has long sought worldwide mediation over the GERD, an idea Ethiopia has rejected, insisting that it will complete the project regardless of regional opposition.

Earlier this month, Cairo said it had exhausted efforts to reach an agreement on the conditions for operating the dam and filling the reservoir behind it, after years of three-party talks with Ethiopia and Sudan.

Abiy, who won the Nobel Prize for his peacemaking efforts with long-time enemy Eritrea, raised the prospect of war over the dam: "If we are going to war we can deploy millions".

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is expected to discuss the dispute with Mr. Abiy on the sidelines of the Russia-Africa summit due to start in Russia on Wednesday, Reuters news agency reports.

Washington also invited foreign ministers from Ethiopia and Sudan to the as-yet-unscheduled meeting.

The Egyptian foreign ministry statement did not specify when the meeting would take place. He noted that Ethiopia's first medical facility, the Russian Red Cross Hospital in Addis Ababa, was opened back in 1898.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said in a Monday interview with Sputnik that Russian Federation could help resolve the GERD issue. "Ethiopians do not want conflicts arising in connection with elections", Abiy said.

"But ultimately there's very little chance the disagreement will result in conflict and, as Abiy said, cooperation is the best solution for all parties".

But Egypt is concerned the huge dam would severely reduce the flow of Nile waters and invokes its "historic rights" under decades-old treaties.

Egypt now has around 570 cubic metres per person per year, a figure that is expected to drop to 500 cubic metres by 2025, without taking into account any reduction in supply caused by GERD, Egyptian officials said.

On October 13, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi said he will meet Ahmed in Russian Federation to discuss the issue.

"If Sisi and Abiy can achieve a reset it would increase the chances that the engineers, lawyers and diplomats can hammer out a deal".

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