Cairo: US President Donald Trump has told his Egyptian counterpart Abdul Fattah Al Sissi that he is keen on success of talks that Washington hosts Wednesday on a contested Ethiopian dam being built on the Nile, an Egyptian presidential official said.
Foreign ministers of Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan will meet in Washington on Wednesday in a new attempt to break the impasse on Ethiopia’s Grand Renaissance Dam, which Egypt fears will harm its share of Nile waters.
“President Trump confirmed his personal interest in the success of these negotiations and that he will receive the foreign ministers of the three countries at the White House at the start of the negotiations in a sign of his great keenness on getting positive and fair results from these negotiations,” presidential spokesman Bassam Radi added in a press statement.
Trump’s assurance came in a phone conversation late Monday with Al Sissi, who praised the US president in a Facebook post.
“As usual, President Trump proved he is a man of a unique type and has the strength to face crises and deal with them to find firm solutions to them,” Al Sissi said.
“I renew my personal gratitude and Egypt’s appreciation for his efforts to sponsor negotiations between Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia about the Renaissance Dam,” he added.
The Egyptian leader expressed confidence that Trump’s sponsorship of the talks will help reach a compromise “preserving rights of all sides in line with rules of international law and human justice”.
Earlier in October, Egypt said its negotiations with Ethiopia over the dam had reached a dead end and called for an international mediator in the row.
Latter, Al Sissi and Ethiopia Prime Minister Abiy Ahmad met on the sidelines of an Afro-Russian summit in Sochi and agreed to resume negotiations.
Ethiopia has repeatedly denied that the dam will harm Egypt’s interests and said that the hydroelectric facility is necessary for its development.
The Nile is a lifeline for Egypt’s population of nearly 100 million people.