Egypt's irrigation ministry has dismissed reports that a joint statement was issued after the end of the final day of trilateral talks on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) in Cairo.
“The meetings concluded with an agreement to continue consultations and technical discussions on controversial issues during the third meeting, scheduled to be held in Khartoum on 21-22 December,” the statement read.
"The ministry said it is also looking forward to continuing negotiations at the upcoming meeting scheduled in Washington on 9 December, as well as subsequent meetings," the statement added.
The two-day Cairo talks discussed the outcomes of the first meeting held in Addis Ababa on 15-16 November, in an attempt to bridge the gaps between Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan and to reach a consensus on the rules of filling and operation of the GERD, according to the statement.
The statement added that the Egyptian side aspires to reach a fair agreement, to coordinate between the operation of the GERD and the Aswan High Dam.
The Cairo-hosted talks are the second of four rounds of talks being held in accordance with an agreement reached in a US-brokered meeting between the three parties in Washington in November, which saw the attendance of representatives of the US government and the World Bank and aimed to break a deadlock in negotiations.
The timeframe for filling and operating the dam is one of the main obstacles in the negotiations. The three countries have tabled different proposals on the duration of filling the GERD’s reservoir. Egypt’s proposal calls for a relatively extended filling period.
Ethiopia began building the mega-dam in 2011, in a bid to provide electricity to more than half of its population and to become the continent's biggest power exporter.
Egypt, however, fears that the filling the Ethiopian dam will adversely diminish its share of Nile water, which the country depends on.