SOCHI, October 23. /TASS/. Moscow is prepared to act as a go-between in the Cairo-Addis Ababa dialogue on the issue of Ethiopia’s Renaissance Dam project on the Blue Nile river, Russia’s Special Representative for the Middle East and Africa, Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said on the sidelines of the Russia-Africa Summit in Sochi on Wednesday.
"We are always ready to mediate, provided we are asked to. We have excellent relations with Addis-Ababa and Cairo. We know this subject. We discussed it many times. If our services of a mediator are welcome, we will be always prepared to extend a helping hand on this issue and on many others," Bogdanov stated.
The diplomat expressed hope that the leaders of the two countries concerned would use the opportunity to have a word with each other on the sidelines of the Sochi summit.
"I hope that contacts between Ethiopia’s prime minister and Egypt’s president will take place here," Bogdanov noted.
Relations between Cairo and Khartoum, on the one hand, and Addis Ababa, on the other are in crisis over Ethiopia’s controversial Renaissance Dam project on the Blue Nile. Egypt and Sudan suspect that the project might cause the level of water in the river to go down, affect fair water distribution and even lead to drought. The countries in question held another round of talks on this issue in October. The negotiations ended inconclusively. On October 22, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry said that Washington had invited the three countries to hold a meeting in the US.