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Russian Foreign Minister stresses settling controversial Ethiopian dam

CAIRO, (The Southern African Times) – Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stressed here on Monday the importance of settling the disputed Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) issue via political dialogue.

“Moscow is convinced that a coordinated solution can be reached among the concerned parties over the GERD, which will ensure the legitimate interests of all parties and pave the road for comprehensive settlement for that issue,” said Lavrov in a joint televised press conference with his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukry.

Russia pays much attention to solve the GERD issue through promoting the political dialogue and creating good conditions for resuming the negotiations, Lavrov said.

The Russian FM confirmed that Russia has not been invited to play the role of a mediator while reiterating the importance of the African Union’s role in the process of negotiation.

“Egypt has exerted tremendous efforts and showed flexibility over a decade to solve the dam’s issue via negotiations,” said Shoukry.

He pointed out that the issue is “a matter of existence for the downstream countries and couldn’t be tackled by negotiations if any of the concerned parties insists on taking unilateral measures.”

The latest African Union-sponsored talks which finished on April 4 have failed due to persisting differences, according to the Egyptian side.

Last Saturday, Egypt and Sudan, which maintained that they are seeking a legally binding agreement over the operations of the dam, rejected an Ethiopian proposal to share data on the operations of its giant hydropower dam.

Meanwhile, the two top diplomats also discussed international and regional issues as well as bilateral cooperation.

The two sides confirmed the importance of not marginalizing the Palestinian cause after some countries decided to normalize their ties with Israel. 

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