Trump supports talks on disputed Blue Nile dam


US President Donald Trump spoke with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and voiced support for negotiations between Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan over a giant hydroelectric dam on Ethiopia’s Blue Nile, the White House said.

Egypt’s foreign minister said last week the Trump administration invited the three countries to a meeting in Washington on November 6 to break a deadlock in the talks.

Egypt fears the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) could restrict already scarce supplies of water from the Nile, on which it is almost entirely dependent. Ethiopia says the dam is crucial to its economic development.

“President Trump expressed support for Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan’s ongoing negotiations to reach a collaborative agreement on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam,” White House spokesman Judd Deere said in a statement.

The statement did not mention a meeting in Washington.

In recent weeks, Egypt called for an external mediator on the issue, saying three-way talks are exhausted.

Ethiopia previously rejected the idea and is expected to start filling the reservoir next year.