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EU calls for mutually beneficial settlement for Ethiopian dam dispute

Josep Borrell (Reuters photo)May 28, 2020 (KHARTOUM) — The European Union’s foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell called for a mutually beneficial agreement ending the dispute over the filling of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam(GERD).

On Thursday, Borell who is the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/ Vice-President of the European Commission discussed the issue in a phone call with the Commissioner of the African Union Peace and Security Commission Smail Chergui.

"It is now important to avoid further escalation and find an urgent and mutually beneficial solution, said the EU’s top diplomat in a statement released after the phone call.

"The High Representative underlined the EU’s readiness to support the parties in this endeavour and share its expertise," further stressed the statement.

The three irrigation ministers of Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan will resume the technical discussions on the GERD very soon before to finalize a pending deal on the filling of the dam’ reservoir, announced the Sudanese government on 21 May.

The three countries in a series of talks mediated by the U.S. Treasury Department agreed that the contentious filling of the dam should be in stages during the wet season.

But, they have to reach an agreement on the safety of the dam, environmental issues, data exchange facilitation and the resolutions of disputes.

Borell further welcomed the decision to resume technical talks between the Water Ministers of Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan, according to the statement.

The EU which is not involved in the mediation process sought to encourage the three parties to compromise and avoid increased polarisation.