22:40 GMT07 August 2020
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    BRUSSELS (Sputnik) - The European Union is ready to help African countries in resolving the crisis around the construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) on the Blue Nile river, which is feared to undermine water security in Egypt and Sudan, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell said on Sunday.

    "I am ready to coordinate with my colleagues in the international community to mobilise financial supports if the region can offer a predictable and agreed path forward on the management of the river," Borrell wrote in a blog post.

    He added that the European Union was invited as an observer to negotiations on the dam, chaired by South Africa.

    "As the current chair of the African Union President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa has taken the lead to accelerating efforts to find a solution both for the short term issue of the filling of the GERD and for a longer term solution to this matter. In a few days, he will host a summit of the concerned leaders and I am very pleased that the European Union has been asked to serve as an observer to these talks," the blog post read.

    Sudan and Egypt currently have tense relations with Ethiopia over disputes on the operation of Addis Ababa’s Grand Renaissance Dam, set to become Africa’s largest, but Cairo and Khartoum fear it would lead to water shortages.

    The three countries have held dozens of rounds of talks but have failed to agree on how soon the dam should be filled, while Addis Ababa sees this project as crucial for economic growth. Egypt has asked the UN Security Council to intervene in the talks to prevent any unilateral steps by Ethiopia.

    Ethiopia has been pursuing the project since 2012. As of today, the dam’s construction has been completed by over 74 percent, according to local news outlets.

    Tags:
    Josep Borrell, Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), Africa, European Union
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