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Saturday, 15 August 2020

Sudan says 'limited progress' achieved during GERD talks

Zeinab El-Gundy , Tuesday 14 Jul 2020
GERD
The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (photo: Reuters)
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Sudan said that limited progress had been achieved during the latest round of trilateral talks with Egypt and Ethiopia on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, in a final report presented to South Africa on Tuesday.

The latest round of talk on the contested mega-dam were held under the auspices of the African Union and ended on Monday.

According to Sudanese news agency SUNA, the Sudanese report, filed with South Africa as chair of the AU, reported “limited progress” on the “outstanding issues. The report also included suggestions from Sudan on resolving those issues.

Sudan also included with the report a draft agreement which “could be the basis for an accepted and complete agreement between the three countries,” SUNA reported.

The draft agreement is an update of the draft presented by Sudan to Egypt and Ethiopia at the end of the previous round of talks in June.

The latest round of talks ended without any agreement between the three countries.

President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa will hold a mini-summit of AU officials and heads of member states to discuss the next steps.

Last Thursday, Cairo said it would not accept any incomplete deal that would not take into account the Egyptian concerns, stressing that Ethiopia's continued adherence to its “intransigent” stances on both the technical and legal aspects of the differences over the hydropower project would “reduce the chances of reaching an agreement.”

The Egyptian negotiators voiced their concerns about Ethiopia's failure to address rules regulating the filling and operation of the GERD during drought and dry years.

Egypt is also concerned about future projects on the Blue Nile, a main tributary of the Nile, and demands binding dispute settlement mechanisms, which Addis Ababa refused to include in a deal.

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