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Wednesday, 22 January 2020

Sudan to host new trilateral round of negotiations on Ethiopia's GERD this week

The water ministers of Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan will meet this weekend to discuss issues around the operation of the mega-dam

Mohamed Soliman , Tuesday 1 Oct 2019
Ethiopian Dam
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A new round of trilateral negotiations on the technical aspects of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) will start on Friday in Khartoum.

The water and irrigation ministers from Egypt, Ethiopia, Sudan will meet on 4 and 5 October to pursue the discussions on the operation and filling hydroelectric dam.

A series of lower-level technical meetings started on Monday, to discuss the details of the proposals.

A previous round of negotiations in Cairo last month did not lead to a breakthrough.

Egypt has proposed that Ethiopia fill the GERD’s reservoir over a period of seven years, and wants Addis Ababa to agree to release 40 billion cubic meters of water every year. Ethiopia has not accepted Egypt’s proposal, claiming that it is “inappropriate” and infringes on Ethiopia's sovereignty.

In his address to the UN General Assembly in New York on September 24, President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi said the repeated stalemates in negotiations with Ethiopia about the mega-dam will have negative repercussions on the stability and development of the whole region, particularly Egypt.

He added that Egypt recognises Ethiopia’s right to development, but Nile water is a matter of life for Egypt.

Ethiopian President Sahle-Work Zewde, in her speech to the General Assembly two days later, said that cooperation between Nile Basin countries is essential.

She said that the Nile’s waters should be utilised based on the principles of international law, including equitable and reasonable utilisation, and the causing of no significant harm.

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