Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi on Thursday met with the irrigation ministers of Sudan and Ethiopia, as Egypt hosts Grand Renaissance Dam talks.
During the meeting, El-Sisi stressed that strong relations between the three countries cannot be limited to water resource issues saying economic development can only be reached through cooperation, according to the Egyptian irrigation ministry.
The talks come a month after previous ones in Addis Ababa, where Egyptian officials said a breakthrough had been reached in discussions despite the fact that many issues concerning the construction of the Ethiopian dam remained unresolved.
Egypt is worried the dam will affect its annual share of Nile water supply, a worry that Ethiopia insists is not the case.
Some 40 percent of the dam has already been built, Ethiopian President Mulatu Teshome said earlier this month.
The three countries will pick a consultancy firm of experts to produce new studies on the dam's impact.
During the opening session of the talks, the Ethiopian irrigation minister said that his country is committed to cooperation with Nile Basin countries. The minister added that the policy of his country is committed to equitable access to Nile water among all basin countries.
He called on the chosen committee to depend on confirmed, accurate and unbiased information.
The Sudanese irrigation minister said the Nile Basin countries should “build trust.” He added that the opening session has had a “positive outcome” thus far while the Egyptian Minister stressed “similar goals” and “mutual benefits.”