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The China-Mediterranean Observer: China Emerges as Key Mediator in the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam Standoff

A supporter of Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed holds a sign making reference to the Grand Renaissance Dam as a crowd wait to enter the stadium in Jimma on June 16, 2021 for an electoral campaign rally ahead of the June 21, 2021 vote. EDUARDO SOTERAS / AFP

Among the most interesting topics discussed this month in the media published throughout the wider Mediterranean region, the crisis over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam between Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia stands out. We also found a number of interesting reports regarding the relations between the countries of the region, China, the United States, and Europe.

The negotiations to resolve the diplomatic crisis between Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) seem to have reached an impasse during the latest round of talks among the parties involved and the African Union, with Addis Ababa announcing the beginning of the second filling of the dam in July 2021. In an interview with Akhbar el-Yom, the Ethiopian Ambassador Ali Hefni stated that “China greatly supports Ethiopia by increasing its investments and providing turbines for the dam”. He also stressed that his country represents a gateway for China’s access to the African continent and an opportunity to “consolidate the Chinese presence in this important region”. Similarly, el-Mogaz reported that the Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi expressed his government’s support to “Ethiopia’s right to defend its national security  and to search for the most appropriate means to achieve developments”.

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