US President Donald Trump confirmed that Ethiopia has violated an agreement he has been preparing regarding the Ethiopian Renaissance Dam that Ethiopia is building on the Blue Nile, and said that since then, he has cut millions of dollars in aid to Addis Ababa due to its delay in the dam negotiations that have been in place for nearly a decade with Egypt. And Sudan.
In a phone call with the leaders of Sudan and Israel to celebrate a diplomatic breakthrough between the two countries, Trump said that “you cannot blame Egypt for feeling a little uncomfortable” because of the dam that “stops the flow of water to the Nile.”
Washington had prepared a draft agreement last February after months of negotiations, but Ethiopia was absent from the signing session.
The American president said that it is “a very dangerous situation, because Egypt will not be able to live in this way,” indicating that the Nile River is almost the only source of water for more than 100 million Egyptians.
“They will end up blowing up that dam … They will blow up the dam. We have to do something,” Trump added.
He continued: “And no one can blame Egypt for being upset.”
Egypt is seeking to solve the Renaissance Dam crisis by diplomatic means and took the issue to the Security Council earlier this year, before the African Union takes over negotiations between the three countries that have not resulted in anything so far.
Ethiopia wants to build the dam to expand its energy exports, while Egypt depends almost exclusively on the Nile water for agriculture, industry and local use.
Egypt and Sudan are seeking to reach a legally binding agreement that guarantees adequate flows of water and a legal mechanism to resolve disputes before the dam starts operating, and Ethiopia is stalling and says it wants non-binding guiding rules.
However, in August, Ethiopia celebrated the first phase of filling the dam, amid severe disapproval and disapproval on the part of Cairo and Khartoum.
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