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Egypt, Ethiopia, Sudan to meet again amid strained talks over dam

June 15, 2020 at 12:52 pm

Representatives of Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia meet to negotiate on the filling and operation of the Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) project in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on 8 January 2020. [Mınasse Wondımu Haılu – Anadolu Agency]

Egypt’s Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation said that a meeting will be held today to assess the outcomes of talks on the Grand Ethiopia Renaissance Dam.

According to the ministry’s spokesperson, the body discussed the outcomes of the fourth meeting of the three countries’ irrigation ministers, adding that Addis Ababa still rejects several points that pertain to the agreement.

These points include giving the agreement a binding legal status or creating a mechanism for conflict resolution in the event of unrest that may erupt between them. Ethiopia also refuses to discuss the Egyptian side’s concern about measures that need to be taken to prevent drought in Egypt.

Cairo stressed its keenness on including these points in the agreement “because they are key issues that impact the lives of more than 150 million people, the Egyptian and Sudanese populations.”

The Egyptian ministry’s spokesman, Mohamed Sebaei, told journalists he is “not optimistic” that a breakthrough or progress will be reached in the current talks. He also criticised the “stubbornness” that Ethiopia allegedly demonstrated in the most recent meetings.

Cairo fears the dam would negatively affect its annual share of the Nile’s water. However, Addis Ababa says the dam aims to generate electricity for local use and is not intended to negatively impact any of its neighbours.

Ethiopia: ‘No retreat from filling the Renaissance Dam and no war with Sudan’