Trump speaks to Egypt's President over Nile dam issue

Washington, Nov 5: US President Donald Trump had a telephonic conversation withhis Egyptian counterpart Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi about the construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) on the Blue Nile River.

"President Trump expressed support for Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan's ongoing negotiations to reach a collaborative agreement on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam," Xinhua news agency quoted the White House as saying in a statement on Monday.

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Ethiopia started building the GERD in 2011, while Egypt, a downstream Nile Basin country that relies on the river for its fresh water, is concerned that the dam might affect its 55.5-billion-cubic-meter annual share of the water resources of the river.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry on Sunday headed to Washington for US-brokered talks over the controversial dam on the shared Nile River, Egyptian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Shoukry said last week that the Trump administration had invited Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan to a meeting in Washington on Wednesday to try to break the stalemate in the talks.