US Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa Jeffrey Feltman will travel to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Kenya from May 31 to June 6.
Feltman will meet with senior officials of the four countries to discuss cooperative approaches to supporting a stable and prosperous Horn of Africa, including a resolution of the dispute over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) that is acceptable to all parties, said the State Department.
The dam has been a source of tension in the Nile River basin ever since Ethiopia broke ground on it in 2011.
Downstream neighbors Egypt and Sudan view the dam as a threat because of their dependence on Nile waters, while Ethiopia considers it essential for its electrification and development.
Filling began last year, with Ethiopia announcing in July 2020 it had hit its target of 4.9 billion cubic meters — enough to test the dam’s first two turbines, an important milestone on the way towards actually producing energy.