Brief: Egypt and Sudan Enter Ethiopian Dam Talks

The regional rivals are hoping to get on the same page for the sake of security.

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Background: Egypt and Sudan have been entrenched in a tense standoff over water, their shared border and the partition of Sudan for years. But their shared concern over Ethiopia’s construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, which threatens water supplies of downstream countries, has given them a shared concern on which to cooperate. What Happened: After a three-month stalemate, Sudan, Egypt and Ethiopia began weeklong negotiations on Sunday over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam. Talks will include water ministers from the three countries and officials from the African Union, European Union and World Bank. Also on Sunday, the Egyptian army’s chief of staff, Mohamed Farid, flew to Khartoum to meet with his Sudanese counterpart, Mohamed Osman, to discuss opportunities to “broaden the horizons” of Egyptian-Sudanese military cooperation. They agreed to boost joint training operations, exchange military expertise and strengthen border security cooperation. Bottom Line: Despite years of hostility, Sudan and Egypt are hoping to get on the same page for the sake of regional security. Egypt sees the dam project as an existential threat that could severely disrupt its water supply. For its part, Sudan hopes the GERD can regulate seasonal flooding but also fears the impact of Ethiopia’s potentially […]

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