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United Nations offers help to break Nile dam impasse

The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) on the Nile River (IANS)

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has offered to help break the tripartite impasse between Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam on the Nile river.

In a phone call with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry on Friday, Guterres confirmed that the UN is available to support and participate in the African Union-led negotiation process on the dam, Xinhua news agency quoted Stephane Dujarric, the Secretary-General's spokesman, as saying on Friday.

The UN chief expressed the hope that the process will count on the full engagement of the parties in a serious negotiation, the spokesman added.

Ethiopia started building the dam in 2011.

While Egypt is concerned that the dam might affect its share of the Nile waters, Sudan has also raised similar concerns over the dam.

Over the past few years, tripartite talks on the rules of filling and operating the Ethiopian dam have been fruitless, including those hosted by the US and recently by the African Union.