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Sudan regrets Egypt accusation of contri-
buting to Nile dam talks failure

KHARTOUM Sudan (Xinhua) -- Sudan on Wednesday expressed regret over Egypt’s official statement blaming Sudan and Ethiopia for failure of the recent tripartite talks on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).

“The Sudanese Ministry of Water Resources, Irrigation and Electricity expresses regret over statements made by Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, which contradict the positive spirit between the two countries,” said the Sudanese ministry in a statement.

On Monday, Shoukry reportedly blamed Sudan and Ethiopia for the failure of the recent round of the tripartite dam talks held in Ethiopia, accusing Sudan of narrowing the view points of the meeting.

The talk ended on May 5 without reaching an agreement on the technical report prepared by French firms on the potential impact of the dam.

“Sudan has provided a comprehensive consensus proposal that the three countries agreed to look into and respond within a week and consider possibility of using it as a course to get out of the current technical crisis,” the statement said.

It further stressed Sudan’s firm position on the necessity of making an effort to complete the studies, and continue the talks and meetings.

“Questioning and destroying the bridges of trust will only bring divergence and dispute to the peoples of the three countries,” it noted.

The three countries are expected to meet again in Addis Ababa in Ethiopia on May 15 on the same issue.

In December 2017, Egypt proposed to have the World Bank as a neutral party on the tripartite technical committee, but Ethiopia rejected the request.

The GERD project, which costs 4.7 billion U.S. dollars, is now 64 percent completed. Ethiopia hopes it will provide a constant supply of clean and affordable power and accelerate its shift from an agricultural economy to an industrial powerhouse.

Ethiopia and Sudan eye massive benefits from the GERD construction, while Egypt is concerned that it might affect its 55.5-billion-cubic-meter annual share of the Nile River water.



South Sudan  to import tax exempted goods from Sudan

JUBA South Sudan (Xinhua) -- South Sudan on Wednesday said it agreed with neighboring Sudan to import tax exempted goods that will help boost already existing trade between the two countries.

The head of the South Sudan business union, Ayii Duang Ayii, said they agreed with authorities in Sudan not to impose tax on goods purchased from Sudan.

“We agreed that they will not impose tax on the goods we purchase from Sudan. The goods that we cannot get in Sudan will be transported through Sudan without paying anything,” Ayii said in Juba upon returning from the Sudanese capital of Khartoum.

He disclosed that they discussed re-opening of trade routes between the border areas of the two countries and also engaged Sudanese business community to start bringing goods to South Sudan.

Ayii revealed that they also discussed with Sudan on the possibility of purchasing tractors at affordable rates and investment in the in the vast country’s agriculture with only four percent of its arable land under use.

He also said trade will be facilitated between the two countries through river transport, air and road.

South Sudan’s economy has been battered amid hyperinflation due to the ongoing more than four years conflict which displaced over 4 million people from their homes into neighboring countries as refugees.

The violence was caused by power struggle between President Salva Kiir and his former deputy Riek Machar who leads the Sudan People’s Liberation Army-in opposition (SPLA-IO) in rebellion.



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