Ethiopia's Grand Renaissance Dam (Photo: Reuters)
A new round of talks on Ethiopia's under-construction Grand Renaissance Dam will take place on 27 and 28 December after Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan failed to reach a final agreement in two days of trilateral talks this weekend.
The meeting of the tripartie committee on the dam in Khartoum, in the attendance of the foreign and irrigation ministers from the three countries, aimed at refreshing technical talks on the dam and discussing concerns from the Egyptian side, ended on Saturday with “no final agreement."
According to a closing statement by Sudan's Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour, the three countries agreed to go forward with "discussion and negotiations" on the framework of shared principles that were involved in the Malabo agreement and the Khartoum's declaration of principles in 2014 and 2015 respectively.
Friday and Saturday's meetings had an atmosphere of "brotherhood, friendship, cooperation," which affirms the three countries' keenness to reach shared agreements and abandon all conflicts, the statement read.
"We are neither a mediator, nor are we neutral or biased, but we have rights just like Egypt and Ethiopia. We are moving with the negotiations in the frame of our national interests that entitle us to converge viewpoints between the three parties," Ghandour said in press statements following the meeting.
Sudan's Water Resources and Electricity Minister Moataz Moussa rejected news related to the failure of talks due to conflicts between the three countries, adding that there was an agenda that was being discussed during the two-day closed meetings.
Ahram Online was not able get an immediate comment from Egypt's representatives in the meetings.
The next talks will also take place in Khartoum, and will include the foreign and irrigation ministers of the three states, as well as the tripartite committee.
The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, scheduled to be completed in 2017, will be Africa's largest hydroelectric power plant with a storage capacity of 74 billion cubic metres of water.
Egypt has repeatedly expressed concerns that filling and operating the dam on the Blue Nile will negatively affect Egypt's water supply, while Ethiopia has rejected these claims.