Ethiopia, Egypt reach ‘major common understanding’ on Nile dam

This handout satellite image obtained courtesy of Maxar Technologies on July 21, 2020 shows a view of northwestern Ethiopia that focuses on the status of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) and the Blue Nile River on July 11, 2020. (AFP/Satellite image ©2020 Maxar Technologies)
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Updated 21 July 2020

Ethiopia, Egypt reach ‘major common understanding’ on Nile dam

  • The nearly $5bn construction project has been under construction since 2011
  • It will become the largest dam in Africa and affect Sudan and Egypt

JOHANNESBURG: Ethiopia’s prime minister says his country, Egypt and Sudan have reached a “major common understanding which paves the way for a breakthrough agreement” on a massive dam project that has led to sharp regional tensions.
The statement by Abiy Ahmed’s office Tuesday night came as new satellite images show the water level in the reservoir behind the nearly completed dam is at its highest in at least four years.
Ethiopia has said the rising water is from heavy rains, and the new statement says that “it has become evident over the past two weeks in the rainy season that the (dam’s) first-year filling is achieved and the dam under construction is already overtopping.”
Ethiopia has said it would begin filling the dam’s reservoir this month even without a deal as the rainy season floods the Blue Nile. But the new statement says the three countries’ leaders have agreed to pursue “further technical discussions on the filling ... and proceed to a comprehensive agreement.”
Ethiopia says the colossal dam offers a critical opportunity to pull millions of its nearly 110 million citizens out of poverty and become a major power exporter. Downstream Egypt, which depends on the Nile to supply its farmers and booming population of 100 million with fresh water, asserts that the dam poses an existential threat.
Years of talks with a variety of mediators, including the Trump administration, have failed to produce a solution. These new talks were mediated by the African Union.


Dawn of a new leader, Kuwait’s new emir sworn in and pledges to do his ‘utmost best’

Updated 7 min 17 sec ago

Dawn of a new leader, Kuwait’s new emir sworn in and pledges to do his ‘utmost best’

  • The new Emir said the country’s constitution ensured a “smooth transition” of leadership
  • He succeeds his brother Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah who ruled Kuwait since 2006

DUBAI: Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabeh has been sworn in as the new Kuwait Emir on Wednesday, vowing to carry out his responsibilities to his utmost best, state news agency KUNA has reported.
Al-Sabah said the country’s constitution ensured a “smooth transition” of leadership, as the country mourned the death of his brother Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah who ruled Kuwait since 2006.
“The trust bestowed upon me by the Kuwaiti people is a trust I bear in my neck,” the new Emir said.

(AFP)

“Kuwait has been subjected, throughout its long history, to serious and harsh challenges that we managed to overcome through cooperation,” he added.

Al-Sabah paid tribute to the previous leadership and said “Sheikh Sabah’s policy will remain a highlight for us.”
The Speaker of the Kuwaiti National Assembly Marzouq Al-Ghanim also spoke at the ceremony.
“We are confident that Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah will lead Kuwait to prosperity,” he said.