No accord in Renaissance Dam tripartite meetings, talks to resume in Sudan

Ahram Online , Saturday 4 Jul 2015

Three-day meetings held in Cairo reached no agreement concerning Ethiopia's controversial Grand Renaissance Dam; officials are expected to resume talks in the Sudanese capital within two weeks

Renaissance Dam
A general view shows construction activity on the Grand Renaissance dam in Guba Woreda, Benishangul Gumuz region March 16, 2014 (Photo: Reuters)

In their sixth meeting, held in Cairo, the tripartite committee (Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia) tasked with negotiating an agreement on Ethiopia's controversial Grand Renaissance Dam projected ended three days of talks with no accord concerning technical studies of the dam, but agreed to meet within two weeks in the Sudanese capital to resume talks, Al-Ahram Arabic news website reported.

The meeting discussed the findings of the two European consultancy firms that conducted studies on the impact of Ethiopia's Grand Renaissance Dam, Egyptian Irrigation Minister Hossam Moghazi said earlier.

The meetings — which started Wednesday — were attended by 12 experts from Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan as well as representatives of the two consultancy firms that conducted studies on the impact of the dam.

The upcoming tripartite meetings to be held in Sudan will be attended by the irrigation ministers of the three countries, as agreed.

Moghazi also told the MENA state news agency that, "More than 250 million citizens in Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia are looking forward to the outcome of the meeting in order to maximise the benefit of the Nile River, for cooperation to achieve common interests and to avoid disputes or conflicts."

In April, the three countries selected two consultancy firms that would cooperate in the implementation of the necessary studies to determine the environmental, social and economic impacts of the construction of the Ethiopian Renaissance Dam.

In March, Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia signed a declaration of principles on the dam, agreeing to safeguard the interests of all three countries.

Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, who hailed the declaration as a "positive step", visited Ethiopia in the same month and addressed the country's parliament, calling for a new era of cooperation. 

The dam, scheduled to be completed in 2017, will be Africa's largest hydroelectric power plant.

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