The GERD (Photo: Reuters)
Egyptian officials held “long, in-depth talks” with US representatives in Washington on Monday where Egypt explained its vision for filling and operating the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), Egypt’s foreign ministry said in a statement.
Monday’s talks were part of the ministerial meeting at the US Treasury Department on the filling and operation of the $4 billion project.
Egypt’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry and Minister of Irrigation Mohamed Abdel-Ati participated in talks with their Ethiopian and Sudanese counterparts where they discussed the technical rules and mechanisms needed for reaching a "just and balanced agreement on filling and operating" the dam on Ethiopia's section of the Nile River.
The Washington meetings, which continue on Tuesday, are being attended by US Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin and the president of the World Bank David Malpass.
Four rounds of talks in the GERD negotiations were held as part of the roadmap agreed upon during a US-brokered meeting in Washington last November to break the deadlock in the negotiations.
The Washington meeting had set 15 January as the targeted deadline for resolving the dispute.
According to the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the latest four trilateral meetings between the irrigation ministers of Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan have not led to significant progress “due to Ethiopia’s intransigence.”
According to the Declaration of Principles signed by Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia in 2015, if the three countries fail in resolving the dispute through negotiations, they can ask for mediation or refer the matter to their heads of state or prime ministers.
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 diminish its share of the river’s water.
Ethiopia aims to become the continent's biggest power exporter by generating more than 6,000 megawatts through the dam.