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Supervisor Elham AbolFateh
Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

Sudan: GERD Talks to Continue With Egypt, Ethiopia


Tue 09 Jun 2020 | 09:32 PM
Yassmine Elsayed

Moments ago, the Sudanese Minister of Irrigation Yasser Abbas announced that it was agreed with the Minister of Irrigation in Egypt and Ethiopia to continue talks over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).

His remarks followed a a tripartite meeting today between the three countries to discuss disagreements over GERD, in the presence of observers from the United States, the European Union and South Africa.

During a press conference, Dr. Abbas said: "The meeting on the Renaissance Dam discussed the measures required to continue negotiations and identify the sticking points."

"During the meeting, we discussed two points. First, what measures are required to continue negotiations faster, and secondly, what are the main issues for the three countries?," he added.

"The meeting took place in a positive spirit and the discussion was fruitful ... We hope that this spirit will continue in the upcoming negotiations."

He concluded by saying: "The irrigation ministers of Sudan, Ethiopia and Egypt agreed to continue negotiations on the Renaissance Dam to reach consensus on the remaining points."

According to Sky news Arabia report, the negotiations resumed following efforts made by Sudanese Prime Minister Abdullah Hamduk to bring Cairo and Addis Ababa again on the negotiating table.

Negotiations were suspended after Ethiopia refused to sign a draft agreement prepared by the United States and the World Bank on the filling process of the Renaissance Dam.

Sudan and Egypt also rejected Ethiopia's proposal on May 12, to sign a partial agreement to start filling the dam lake in July.

The dam, which Ethiopia started in 2011 to build on the Blue Nile at a cost of $ 6 billion, raises serious concerns about water security for Egypt and Sudan with regard to their shares of the Nile water.

Both Sudan and Egypt fear that the reservoir, with a maximum capacity of 74 billion cubic meters, will block the annual basic water supply of the Nile.

Sisi Presides Meeting Over GERD

Earlier, President Abdel Fattah El Sisi presided over a meeting of the National Security Council where they discussed the issue of GERD along with other concerns of Egypt's national security.

Presidential Spokesperson Ambassador Bassam Radi issued a statement following the meeting, which underscored Egypt's position.

“Egypt has received an invitation from the Sudanese irrigation minister to resume the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam talks on 9 June 2020, and as Egypt asserts its initial position that it is ready for negotiations in order to reach for a balanced and fair agreement to achieve the interests of Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan, it considers this invitation to have come late, three weeks after its launch.”

“That is why it is important to have a timeframe for the talks, in order not to make the talks a new tool for stalling or evading the obligations of the Declaration of Principles of 2015,” read the statement.