Russia has offered to mediate the dispute between Egypt and Ethiopia regarding the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, which Addis Ababa is building on its share of River Nile.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said President Vladimir Putin had made the offer to both Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, both of whom are in Sochi for the inaugural Russia-Africa Summit.
While there is no confirmation on whether the African leaders accepted President Putin’s offer, Russia is now the second super power to extend a mediation offer after the United States.
Cairo has long expressed fears that building the $5 billion dam will threaten water supplies that have fed Egypt’s agriculture and economy for thousands of years.
Ethiopia on the other hand hopes the dam will help make it Africa’s biggest power exporter, and has allayed fears that the dam will threaten Egypt’s water supply
Ethiopia said PM Abiy and President el-Sissi met on Thursday about “issues of common concern” but didn’t provide further details.
The two leaders are among over 40 African leaders who are in Sochi for the first ever Russia-Africa Summit.
Various sideline meetings between different leaders have been held aimed at boosting cooperation.