Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi and Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed agreed on Saturday to respect each side’s rights in future negotiations after months of impasse over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, Egypt’s presidency announced early on Sunday.
"The two sides agreed to adopt a joint vision based on respect for each other's right to achieve development without prejudice to the rights of the other party," presidential spokesman Bassam Rady said in the statement.
The talks in Cairo come almost a month after Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan announced they had made progress in talks on the hydroelectric dam after months of impasse.
The two leaders also agreed on Saturday to strengthen mutual ties at all levels, mainly political and economic cooperation, the statement added.
Egypt and Ethiopia have been at odds over the construction of the $4 billion-hydroelectric dam, which Cairo fears will threaten its Nile river water supply.
Ethiopia hopes to become Africa’s biggest exporter of electric power with the dam, which is set to be the continent’s largest. Addis Ababa denies that the structure will reduce Egypt’s access to water.
The parties also disagree on the results of a technical report written by a French firm commissioned to assess the dam’s environmental and economic impact, to which Ethiopia and Sudan did not agree.
The parties achieved a breakthrough in negotiations during a mid-May meeting in Addis Ababa when the foreign ministers of Egypt and Ethiopia, as well as Sudan's water resources minister, agreed to set up an independent scientific study group with representatives from the three countries for consultation on the dam’s filling.
They also confirmed that representatives of the three countries will meet every six months for talks, and agreed to send their reservations about the original technical report to the French consultancy firm.