Egypt has expressed to Italy its desire to continue negotiations with Ethiopia and Sudan over the operation and filling of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), a statement by the irrigation and water resources ministry read.
According to the statement on Tuesday, Minister of Irrigation Mohamed Abdel-Ati discussed the latest developments in the dam issue with Italy’s ambassador to Cairo Giampaoli Cantini.
The minister said that Egypt is determined to reach an agreement on the GERD that protects its water rights while ensuring that the interests of all parties are met.
The minister also emphasised the importance of reaching a fair and legally binding agreement that would fulfil the aspirations of all countries towards development.
Minister Abdel-Ati and Ambassador Cantini also discussed the ‘Water Knowledge’ project, which involves a grant presented to Egypt from Italy to raise the technical and administrative capabilities in water management in Egypt and the Nile basin countries in a sustainable manner.
They also discussed the success of the 6-million-euro project funded by the European Union to develop the irrigation infrastructure in Fayoum and Minya governorates with the cooperation of the National Centre for Water Research.
Earlier this month, revived talks between Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia reached a stalemate when the three countries failed to agree on the framework under which the renewed talks would be carried out.
The last talks to be held, prior to this latest attempt at negotiations, were in August, when African Union-mediated talks broke down after Ethiopia proposed a package of non-binding guidelines for the filling and operation of the mega-dam, which Egypt and Sudan rejected.