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Why the GERD Interests the US

Why the GERD Interests the US

February 29 , 2020.


Dear Editor,

A piece published in the My Opinion section of Fortune, headlined, "Ignorance Isn't Bliss," [Volume 20, No1034, February 23, 2020], by Christian Tesfaye, contains a lot of valid observations about social media commentators who write on diverse issues without having proper expertise on the subject. I share this view as well.

He also asks "why a superpower of the United States'" stature would suddenly take an interest in a project [GERD] that should not concern any other than the Nile riparian countries.

Although the United States may not have a direct stake in the construction of the Grand Ethiopian Rennaissance Dam (GERD), its geopolitical significance cannot be lost on anyone. More importantly, the US and the World Bank became involved in the GERD negotiations at the specific request of Egypt as "observers." Now, it appears that the role of the US is going far beyond that of a mere observer.

It is fair then to conclude that US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo did not come to Addis Abeba about a week ago just to have coffee and some small talk with our Prime Minister and President. Remember, Egypt requested the participation of the United States in the negotiations several months ago, most likely to have the leverage to apply pressure on Ethiopian negotiators.

A few months ago, President Donald Trump stated that he should have been the winner of the latest Nobel Peace Prize, presumably for hosting the GERD negotiations. All this goes to show the significance the United States attaches to the GERD.

We Ethiopians thus should put all of our differences behind us and come together to give strong support to our Prime Minister and Ethiopia's dedicated team of negotiators to resist any pressure from any side to sign an agreement that may be perceived as contrary to our national interest.

Aytenew Birhanu

Addis Abeba

(ayt.birhanu@gmail.com)

 



PUBLISHED ON Feb 29,2020 [ VOL 20 , NO 1035]



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