Ethiopia's Grand Renaissance Dam (Reuters)
Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia will a hold a six-party meeting in the Sudanese capital Khartoum on Sunday and Monday for talks on Ethiopia's Renaissance Dam, Egyptian irrigation minister Hossam Moghazi said on Wednesday.
The meeting will be attended by the foreign ministers and water and irrigation ministers from the three countries.
The meeting aims at refreshing technical talks on the dam, and to discuss concerns from the Egyptian side.
Moghazi also said that the ministers will discuss means to implement the declaration of principles signed by the three countries in March 2015.
The Egyptian irrigation minister explained that this meeting constitutes a new level of negotiations and is a significant step towards addressing the concerns of the involved parties.
In late November, Egypt highlighted the importance of the overdue technical studies on the dam and their political significance amid the "alarming" speed of construction.
Talks reached a stalemate since September when the Dutch consultancy firm Deltares withdrew from its planned assessment of the dam, saying that the conditions imposed by the tripartite committee – which includes representatives from Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia, as well as the French consultancy firm BRL – did not provide sufficient guarantees to Deltares that an independent high-quality study could be carried out.
A tenth round of talks is scheduled to take place in Khartoum following the six-party meeting.
This round of talks will attempt to solve differences between the two consulting firms.
The dam, scheduled to be completed in 2017, will be Africa's largest hydroelectric power plant with a storage capacity of 74 billion cubic meters of water.