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US Special Envoy to finish tour of Middle East and East Africa


US Special Envoy to finish tour of Middle East and East Africa


Jeffrey Feltman Africa

US Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa Jeffrey Feltman will conclude a seven-day tour of Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Kenya today.

Feltman’s tour has focused on resolving the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) dispute. Egypt and Sudan are staunchly opposed to the project and tensions between the two countries, and Ethiopia have become increasingly militaristic, making the US inclined to act as a mediator.

Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE are major investors in GERD but are still on good terms with the Egyptian and Sudanese governments. Egypt and Kenya have recently developed a more substantial economic relationship, and the latter signaled its support of Egypt’s position on GERD.  

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Expect Feltman to diplomatically push officials from Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE to convince their Egyptian, Sudanese and Ethiopian counterparts to engage in further negotiations over GERD. While Ethiopia is opposed to any negotiations, the facilitation of discussion by the Arab countries will likely be highly influential on Ethiopia’s willingness to resolve the dispute because of their significant investments in the project. If these efforts are unsuccessful, expect relations between Egypt and Kenya to continue to improve as the two countries unite to oppose GERD. 

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