UPDATE 1-Filling Ethiopia's Renaissance Dam in July threatens Sudan's security - minister
KHARTOUM, Feb 6 (Reuters) - Sudan considers that any unilateral step to fill Ethiopia's Renaissance Dam in July would pose a direct threat to its national security, Sudanese Irrigation and Water Resources Minister Yasser Abbas said on Saturday.
Sudan is also proposing a mediation role for the United States, European Union, United Nations and African Union as a way of breaking the deadlock in talks about the dam between Sudan, Egypt and Ethiopia, Abbas told Reuters in an interview.
Ethiopia began filling the reservoir behind its dam after the summer rains last year despite demands from Egypt and Sudan that it should first reach a binding agreement on the dam's operation.
Egypt views the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) as a major threat to its fresh water supplies, more than 90% of which come from the Nile.
Ethiopia has been building the hydropower dam on the Blue Nile, close to its border with Sudan, and says the dam is crucial to its economic development.
The Blue Nile flows north into Sudan then Egypt and is the Nile's main tributary.
"The filling of the Renaissance Dam by one side next July represents a direct threat to Sudan's national security," said Abbas.
(Reporting by Khalid Abdelaziz
Writing by Mahmoud Mourad and Aidan Lewis
Editing by Frances Kerry)