Egypt accepts US invitation for talks to break Ethiopia dam deadlock
Egypt has accepted a US invitation to meet foreign ministers from Ethiopia and Sudan in a bid to resolve a simmering spat over a giant hydropower dam on Ethiopia's Blue Nile.
The meeting of foreign ministers will be held in Washington, Egypt's foreign ministry said on Tuesday, at an unspecified date.
It did not state whether the other nations had agreed to the meeting.
"Egypt has received an invitation from the U.S. administration," the ministry said in a statement, adding, "an invitation that Egypt immediately accepted."
Negotiations between the three countries have been at a stalemate for years after Ethiopia began constructing the Grand Renaissance Dam on the Blue Nile in 2012.
Ethiopia says the project is needed to provide electricity.
But Egypt is concerned the huge dam will severely reduce its water supplies and says it has "historic rights" to the river guaranteed by decades-old treaties.
Read more: Noble Peace Prize-winning Ethiopian PM 'threatens Egypt with war' over Nile dam
Earlier on Tuesday, Ethiopian prime minister, and winner of the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize Abiy Ahmed, threatened to fight a war over the controversial Renaissance Dam Ethiopia is seeking to build on the Nile.
Speaking at the Ethiopian parliament, Ahmed said that his country was prepared to mobilise one million people to defend the dam. "No force can stop Ethiopia from building the dam," he added.
Egypt criticised the comments as "unacceptable".
"Egypt ... expressed its shock, great concern and deep regret over comments conveyed by media and attributed to Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed," the foreign ministry said.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is expected to meet Abiy during a Russia-Africa summit this week.
Earlier in October Egypt suggested international mediation to resolve the dispute, a call rejected by Ethiopia.