“…the United States can have tough conversations with friends.”
August 28, 2020
The United States Department of State approved a plan to cut U.S. Foreign Aid assistance to Ethiopia, according to a report by Foreign Policy.
An estimated $130 million cut is believed to affect programs in counter-terrorism, security, military education and training, and anti-human trafficking – among other programs.
Emergency Humanitarian aid including food assistance and health programs won’t be affected by the cut, the source added.
The US action is informed by the move to “address” disagreement between Ethiopia and Egypt over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).
State Department officials have, said the report by Foreign Policy,briefed Congressional staff on the decision. And they believe that the U.S.-Ethiopia relationship would not be affected because “the United States can have tough conversations with friends.”
However, The Foreign Policy report indicated that the decision has caused “friction” within the Trump administration.
In February 2019, thousands of Ethiopians took to the streets in Washington DC protesting President Donald pressure on their country during the Washington negotiation between the three riparian countries (Ethiopia, Sudan, and Egypt).
The US claimed to be an “observer” and facilitator in the negotiation but later issued a statement warning Ethiopia not to fill the dam before reaching an agreement with the lower riparian countries – a statement that angered Ethiopians further. Ethiopia rejected the statement at the time. Most Ethiopians have the understanding that the United States wants Egypt at the expense of Ethiopia.
Ethiopia completed the first phase of GERD filling during the first two weeks of July this year taking advantage of heavy rainfall that the country received.
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