A ministerial meeting on the Ethiopian Renaissance Dam was held on Friday in Addis Ababa with the participation of Egypt, Ethiopia, Sudan, World Bank representatives and the United States.
The meeting was the first round of four meetings between the irrigation ministers, agreed at a previous conference held in Washington on 7 November.
On Friday morning, the Egyptian ambassador to Ethiopia, Osama Abdel Khalek, announced via his Twitter account the start of consultations between the irrigation ministers of the three countries, in the presence of representatives of the United States and the World Bank.
Abdel Khalek, who published pictures of the initial stages of the consultations, confirmed that the meeting was the first step in the consultations established by the Washington negotiations, to reach compromises and consultative solutions regarding the rules for the filling and operating of the Renaissance Dam.
The two-day meetings will discuss the rules for the filling and operating of the Renaissance Dam, constructed in 2011, with the intention of reaching an agreement by 15 January.
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According to the Ethiopian News Agency, on Wednesday the minister of water, irrigation and energy, Dr. Seleshi Bekele, announced "this technical meeting for the first time involves the participation of observers from the government of US and the World Bank, that the arrangement will help us for effective completion of technical deliberation, in an open and cooperative manner to continue and ensure the mutual benefits."
According to previous information, the Renaissance Dam has a supplement that extends over a length of five kilometres and at a height of around 50 metres, while the main dam which is the site of technical negotiations, is built on an area of 1,800 kilometres.
Cairo fears a possible negative impact of the dam on the flow of its annual share of the Nile water, which amounts to 55 billion cubic meters, while Sudan gets 18.5 billion cubic metres.
Addis Ababa confirm that it is not aimed at harming Egypt's interests, and the purpose behind constructing the Dam is mainly the generation of electricity.