Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia's irrigation, foreign ministers aim to break GERD deadlock in April meeting

Ahram Online , Wednesday 14 Mar 2018

The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam in close snapshot (Photo: Bassem Abo Alabass)

The ministers of irrigation, foreign affairs and the heads of the intelligence services in Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia are going to meet next 4 and 5 April in Khartoum to discuss the latest developments concerning the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), Sudan's ambassador to Cairo announced on Tuesday.

Ambassador Abdel-Mahmoud Abdel-Halim said in media statements that the Egyptian Foreign Ministry recieved an invitation from Sudan officially.

The meeting is aimed at breaking the deadlock in negotiations over disputes in the construction of the GERD and its impact on downstream Nile basin countries.

Ethiopia and Sudan have not accepted the results of a report issued in March 2017 by a European consultancy firm on the potential impact of the dam on downstream countries, which concluded that the speed of construction could negatively affect Egypt's water share.

Ethiopia has so far opposed a recent proposal by Cairo to involve the World Bank in the stalled technical negotiations.

That meeting was originally planned in late February but it was adjourned due to the political developments in Ethiopia and the resignation of Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn in mid-February.

The dam, situated near Ethiopia's border with Sudan, is slated for completion this year and expected to generate 6,000 megawatts of electricity.

Ethiopia hopes to be able to export electricity generated by the dam, which will be the largest hydroelectric power plant in Africa.


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