Egyptian Irrigation Minister Mohamed Abdel-Ati has said that his country will resume talks with Addis Ababa over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) as soon as the new Ethiopian government is formed, Thenewkhalij.org reported yesterday.
“Egypt does not oppose development efforts in Sudan and Ethiopia,” Abdel-Ati said, adding that water is an issue of national security.
Earlier, the Ethiopian parliament approved a new government which was formed after the resignation of the previous prime minister.
In April 2011 Ethiopia started building the GERD on the Blue Nile, one of the main tributaries of the River Nile.
Following this, Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan began talks about the size of the dam and how long it would take to fill.
The talks have stalled several times over disagreements between the three countries. A tripartite ministerial committee is due to convene on 4 and 5 April in Khartoum to discuss the issue.
Ethiopians hope to fill the dam within three to four years, but Egypt wants seven to nine years to meet expected water shortages.
Egypt is afraid that the dam will harm the country’s water supply while Ethiopia believes it will benefit the country, for example through increased electricity production.