Tripartite talks on Ethiopia dam begin in Khartoum
Ahram Online, Monday 25 Aug 2014
Egyptian Irrigation Minister Hossam El-Moghazi is in Khartoum for talks with his Sudanese and Ethiopian counterparts on the Grand Renaissance Dam project

The opening session of talks on the controversial Grand Renaissance dam between Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia began in Khartoum on Monday morning, Al-Ahram Arabic news website reported.

Egyptian Irrigation Minister Hossam El-Moghazi arrived in Sudan on Sunday, along with his Ethiopian counterpartAlamayo Tegnoto, for the tripartite talks.

El-Moghazi has previously said that Egypt has a new "vision" regarding the Ethiopian Grand Renaissance Dam.

Meanwhile, Sudanese Irrigation Minister Moataz Moussa stressed on Monday that Sudan was an essential partner in the discussions and not a mediator.

The second session is scheduled to take place later in the day to discuss technical issues.

The project has been a source of concern for the Egyptian government since May 2013, when images of the dam's construction stirred public anxiety about the possible effect on Egypt's potable water supply.

Ethiopia maintains that Egypt's water share will not be negatively affected by the successful completion of the project, set to be Africa's largest hydroelectric dam.

The tripartite talks were initially planned to take place in Cairo but were later moved to Khartoum.

The talks are expected to develop seven main points that Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi and Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn previously discussed during a meeting in late June – among them fostering dialogue and cooperation between the two countries as well as regional projects to meet the growing demand for water.