CAIRO: In order to advance a diplomatic solution to the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, US Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa Mike Hammer met with senior Egyptian government officials.
Hammer convened with the interagency team in charge of the GERD talks with Ethiopia and Sudan at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and held talks at the Egyptian Parliament with Karim Darwish, chair of the House of Representatives’ Foreign Affairs Committee.
The two discussed the GERD, regional challenges across the Middle East and Africa, and the strategic partnership between the US and Egypt.
According to a statement from the US Embassy in Cairo, Hammer said: “I came to Cairo on my first official trip to the region to hear from our Egyptian partners on the critical issue of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam and to better understand Egypt’s water needs.”
He added: “We are actively engaged in supporting a diplomatic way forward under the African Union’s auspices that arrives at an agreement that provides for the long-term needs of every citizen along the Nile.”
The US Embassy said: “Hammer’s visit helped promote our continued dialogue and ongoing partnership with Egypt.”
The GERD has raised tensions between Ethiopia on one hand and Egypt and Sudan on the other.
The latter two countries are demanding a legally binding agreement on the filling and operation of the dam, which they fear will reduce their share of Nile waters.
Meanwhile, US Chargé d’Affaires in Cairo Nicole Shampaine delivered an invitation from the White House to President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi to attend the US-Africa Leaders Summit on Dec. 13-15, according to the US Embassy.
Egypt’s participation in the summit would assist the region and strengthen US-Egypt and US-Africa ties, the embassy said.