Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has approved a plan to halt US foreign assistance to Ethiopia over the country’s dispute with Egypt and Sudan over the Renaissance Dam, Foreign Policy reported Thursday.
This punishment could affect up to $130 million in US foreign assistance to Ethiopia, the US official is reported by Foreign Policy as stating.
The official noted that this could affect security assistance, counterterrorism and military education and training, anti-human trafficking programmes and broader development assistance funding.
However, the cuts will not impact US funding for emergency humanitarian relief, food assistance, or healthcare programs aimed at addressing COVID-19 and HIV/AIDS.
According to Foreign Policy, US President Donald Trump is fond of Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi, explaining claims by Ethiopian officials that the US administration is taking the side of Egypt in the talks on the dam.
One US official told Foreign Policy: “There’s still progress being made, we still see a viable path forward here. US role is to do everything it can to help facilitate an agreement between the three countries that balance their interests.”
Foreign Policy reported that a US State Department official briefed Congress about the decision on Thursday and stressed that the: “US-Ethiopia relationship would remain strong despite a cutback in aid because the US can have tough conversations ‘with friends.’”
On Tuesday, Pompeo visited Sudan to meet with Prime Minister Abdullah Hamdok. Although he did not meet Hamdok, the US State Department confirmed that Pompeo agreed with Hamdok to reach an agreement that preserves the rights of Sudan, Egypt and Ethiopia.