KHARTOUM - Ethiopia's prime minister Abiy Ahmed visited Sudan on Thursday for the first time since border clashes between the neighbours, amid tensions heightened by the filling of a giant hydropower dam.

Abiy and Sudan's leaders discussed Ethiopia's Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, a Sudanese statement said, a project on the Blue Nile that has alarmed the downriver countries of Sudan and Egypt who fear it could threaten their water supply.

They also discussed clashes that flared in late 2020 between the countries in the fertile al-Fashaqa border region, according to the statement from Sudan's sovereign council.

"With regards to the border between the two countries, confirmed that technical mechanisms and dialogue are the basis for this issue," the statement said.

Abiy "confirmed that the Renaissance Dam will not cause any harm to Sudan but will have benefits for it in terms of electricity," the statement said.

There was no immediate statement on the meeting from the Ethiopian delegation.

Ahmed met Sudan's Sovereign Council head General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, as well as General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, and other Sudanese political leaders, the statement read.

In 2019, Ethiopia's leader played a key role in reaching an agreement between Sudan's military and civilian protest groups following the ouster of former leader Omar al-Bashir.

Sudan has played host to tens of thousands of refugees who crossed the border after the eruption of fighting in Ethiopia's north in late 2020.

(Reporting by Khalid Abdelaziz, writing by Nafisa Eltahir)