Last chance for compromise as Gerd deadline approaches

Issue 418 - 26 Jun 2020
The breakdown of talks on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (Gerd) on 18 June – after nine days of discussions held remotely over video because of Covid-19 restrictions – left both Ethiopia and Egypt holding on firmly to mutually incompatible maximalist positions. On 19 June, Ethiopian foreign minister Gedu Andargachew told Associated Press that filling the dam would advance whatever happened. “For us it is not mandatory to reach an agreement before starting filling the dam, hence we will commence the filling process in the coming rainy season,” he said. “We are working hard to reach a deal, but still we will go ahead with our schedule whatever the outcome is. If we have to wait for others’ blessing, then the dam may remain idle for years, which we won’t allow to happen.”

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