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Ethiopia meeting diffuses tension over dam project, leaders to meet every 6 months

A meeting between the Ethiopian prime minister and the Egyptian foreign affairs minister has diffused the tension that had been brewing over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).

The meeting held in Addis Ababa, was also attended by irrigation ministers and intelligence chiefs from Sudan, Egypt and Ethiopia.

Premier Abiy Ahmed reaffirmed his commitment to strengthening relations with Egypt while Egypt’s Sameh Shoukry said his country was keen to activate all mechanisms of cooperation at the tripartite level between Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt.

After 14 hours of negotiations, the three countries agreed to establish the Tripartite Infrastructure Fund that will deal with among others, issues relating to the GERD.

They also agreed to regularise the summit of the leaders, which will now be held every six months alternately in the capitals of the three countries.

After several meetings that failed to agree on the technical report by a French firm commissioned to assess the dam’s environmental and economic impact, the three countries agreed to set up an independent scientific research study group on the filling and operation of the GERD.

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