Egypt’s prime minister visits Sudan as Nile dam talks stall

A handout picture released by the Egypt’s PM’s official Facebook page on August 15, 2020 shows the mask-clad Madbouli (L) with Sudan’s Hamdok (C-R) at the capital’s Khartoum International Airport. (Egyptian Prime Minister’s Office / AFP)

Egypt’s prime minister arrived in Sudan on Saturday on a visit aiming to “improve cooperation” between the two neighbors, officials said, amid tensions over Ethiopia’s Nile dam.

It is Mostafa Madbouli’s first official visit to Sudan since the formation of a transitional government in Khartoum in 2019.

“The aim of this visit is to improve cooperation between the two countries in various fields,” the office of Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok said in a statement.

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Madbouli’s delegation includes Egypt’s ministers of water and irrigation, electricity, health, and trade and industry.

The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) has been a source of tension in the Nile River basin ever since Ethiopia broke ground on it in 2011.

Egypt and Sudan view the dam as a threat to vital water supplies, while Ethiopia considers it crucial for its electrification and development.

A satellite image shows a view of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) and the Blue Nile River in Ethiopia on June 26, 2020. ( Courtesy Maxar Technologies via Reuters)

A satellite image shows a view of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) and the Blue Nile River in Ethiopia on June 26, 2020. ( Courtesy Maxar Technologies via Reuters)

Talks between the three countries were suspended last week after Addis Ababa insisted on linking them to renegotiating a deal on sharing the waters of the Blue Nile.

Sudan on Monday said negotiations had been postponed for a week.

During his visit, Madbouli is also expected to meet with General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, head of Sudan’s ruling sovereign council, and Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, council deputy chief and military general.

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Last Update: Saturday, 15 August 2020 KSA 17:21 - GMT 14:21
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