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Egypt's irrigation minister heads to Addis for more negotiations as Ethiopia promises GERD harmless

Egypt aims to accelerate the pace of negotiations after several fruitless rounds

Ahram Online , Friday 4 May 2018
GERD
File photo: The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam in close snapshot (Photo: Bassem Abo Alabass)
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Egypt's Irrigation Minister Mohamed Abdel-Ati headed to Addis Ababa on Friday to attend the 18th round of talks of the technical committee of the Grand Renaissance Ethiopian Dam (GERD).

This round of talks aims at reaching a consensus between Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan on the controversies which were found in the technical report written by French consulting firms Arterlia and BRL.

The meeting also aims to adhere on the agreed articles of the Declaration of Principles, signed in 2015 between the leaders of the three countries, regarding the need to complete the studies on the dam to avoid any possible negative effects on the downstream states.

This meeting comes following Egypt's call for a new round of talks to accelerate the pace of the negotiations.

Egypt and Ethiopia are at loggerheads over the construction of the $4 billion-hydroelectric dam, with Cairo fearing that the project could reduce its share of the Nile water.

However, Ethiopia’s newly appointed Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said on Thursday that the dam will not harm Egypt’s share of water.

“We don’t have any intention to harm Sudan or Egypt,” Ahmed told reporters in Khartoum after meeting Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir.

Al-Bashir told reporters that Egypt’s share of the Nile water would not be impacted by the construction of the dam.

At the meeting, the two heads of state discussed the consequences of filling the dam’s reservoir, noting that it will not create any kind of threat on downstream countries’ irrigation, Egypt’s state-owned news agency MENA reported.

Egypt and Sudan are both downstream of the dam.

There are plans for further trilateral talks on 15 May.

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