Egypt's FM Shoukry heads to Washington in final round to secure agreement over Ethiopian dam
Menna Alaa El-Din, , Sunday 26 Jan 2020
The meeting comes weeks after Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan reached a preliminary consensus on the operations of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry has travelled to Washington to participate in a final round of talks with the foreign and irrigation ministers of Sudan and Ethiopia over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), in a last bid to secure an agreement on the dam which has stirred months of conflict and an impasse in negotiations between Cairo and Addis Ababa.

The talks, slated for Tuesday and Wednesday, will be held in the presence of US Treasury and World Bank officials and aim to reach a consensus between Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan over the filling and operations of GERD.

The meeting comes weeks after Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan reached a preliminary consensus in a round held earlier this month in Washington ahead of a critical deadline to finalise an agreement on the disputed dam.

Last week, Khartoum hosted a consultative meeting of the technical and legal delegations from Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia on GERD, where they determined some elements and key terms regarding a final agreement on the dam's operations, as well as the measures to be followed during times of drought, so as not to harm Egypt's water quotas.

Tensions have been building up between Egypt and Ethiopia in recent months after talks on the technical details governing the operation of the dam failed to make progress.

Ethiopia hopes that the $4.8 billion GERD project on the Blue Nile, which has been under construction since 2011, will allow it to become Africa’s largest power exporter.
Egypt, however, fears that the Ethiopian dam, which is 70 percent complete and set to be fully operational by 2022, will diminish its share of Nile water, which comprises 85 percent of the country’s water resources.