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Thursday, 03 December 2020

Sudan PM says Khartoum, Cairo on same page on GERD

Interviewed by Editor-in-Chief of Al-Ahram newspaper Alaa Thabet, the Sudanese premier said any impact resulting from the GERD will affect Sudan first

Ahram Online , Thursday 2 Jan 2020
Alaa Thabet with Sudanese PM
Editor-in-Chief of Al-Ahram newspaper Alaa Thabet (R) interviewing Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok (L) (photo: Al-Ahram)
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Sudan and Egypt are seeing eye-to-eye on subjects related to the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), and Khartoum will not allow the project to harm Cairo, Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok said on Thursday.

"Our stance on the Renaissance Dam is the same as Egypt's, and we are with [Egypt] in every step," the Sudanese premier said.

Interviewed by Editor-in-Chief of Al-Ahram newspaper Alaa Thabet, the Sudanese premier added that as his country lies in the middle between Egypt and Ethiopia, any impact resulting from the GERD will affect Sudan first.

"Our interests are in line with Egypt's vision for the dam, and we believe in the importance of understanding between the three countries... to reach an agreement," he added.

"The most remarkable aspect concerning the GERD is the operation of the dam itself which Ethiopia sees as a matter of sovereignty, and we do not oppose that," Hamdok noted, adding that the operation of the giant dam should be carried out through mutual understanding and exchange of information between the three countries.

Hamdok said there should be "joint management" of the dam in order not to cause any harm to any of the countries.

Ethiopia started constructing the GERD in 2011 on the Blue Nile in the northern Ethiopia highlands, from where most of the Nile's waters flow.

Egypt fears that the speed of filling the Ethiopian dam will adversely diminish its share of the River Nile water.

Ethiopia aims to become the continent's biggest power exporter by generating more than 6,000 megawatts through the dam.

The three countries agreed to resolve the outstanding technical issues on the filling and operation of the $4 billion dam by 15 January 2020 during US-mediated talks in Washington in November.

The irrigation ministers of the three countries will hold further discussions in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa on 9-10 January, before they hold a third meeting in Washington on 13 January to review the results of technical meetings held between the three countries over the past two months.

The US administration sponsored talks between the three sides after Egypt called for an external mediator on the issue, after it said negotiations reached a deadlock.

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