US, EU voice readiness to mediate in Nile dam issue

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Khartoum: US, EU voice readiness to mediate in Nile dam issue.  The US and the European Union (EU) have expressed readiness to mediate in the issue of the disputed Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) built on the Nile River, Sudan’s Sovereign Council said in a statement.

US, EU voice readiness to mediate in Nile dam issue. Donald Booth, the US special envoy to Sudan, and Robert van den Dool, head of the EU delegation to the country, “expressed their readiness to mediate in the GERD issue” when Abdel-Fattah Al-Burhan, chairman of the Council, received them at the presidential palace, Xinhua news agency quoted the statement issued on Monday as saying.

“The two envoys stressed the need to reach a diplomatic solution for the dispute over the GERD, on the basis of a satisfactory approach that guarantees Ethiopia use of electricity, Sudan safety of its territorial integrity and security of its dams, and Egypt its water rights,” the statement noted.

Al-Burhan voiced Sudan’s commitment to peaceful and diplomatic solutions for its differences with Ethiopia, according to the statement.

Earlier, Sudan proposed a mediation quartet of the UN, the EU, the US and the African Union regarding the issue of the GERD.

Ethiopia officially announced its decision to reject the mediation quartet.

In February, Ethiopia said it would carry on with the second-phase $13.5 billion-cubic-meter filling of the GERD in June.

The volume of the first-phase filling last year was 4.9 billion cubic meters.

Sudan, Egypt and Ethiopia have been in talks for years over the technical and legal issues related to the filling and operation of the GERD.

Ethiopia, which started building the GERD in 2011, expects to produce more than 6,000 megawatts of electricity from the dam project.

Egypt and Sudan, downstream Nile Basin countries that rely on the river for its freshwater, are concerned that the dam might affect their share of the water resources.

–IANS

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