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Egypt, Ethiopia leaders discuss Nile dam in Russia in bid to cool tensions

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The leaders of Ethiopia and Egypt on Thursday met on the sidelines of Russia’s Africa summit to discuss a disputed Nile dam that has seen tensions between the two countries rise in the past months.

According to a source, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi delivered a message to Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed about the soon-to-be-finished dam on the Blue Nile.

The meeting lasted around 45 minutes and took place “in a positive atmosphere,” the source added, without providing details.

Egypt fears that the building of the dam, a US$4 billion dam will reduce the flow of the Nile, on which it depends for 90 percent of its water supply.

Discussions between the two countries and with Sudan, through which the river also passes, have been blocked for nine years.

Russia, which is hosting a two-day Africa Summit in its Black Sea resort of Sochi in an attempt to revive its Soviet-era influence on the continent, has said it is ready to play a role in resolving the conflict.

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