Egypt hopes Tuesday's tripartite talks on Ethiopian dam will overcome stalemate

Ahram Online , Monday 14 May 2018

File Photo: Construction site of Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (Photo: Reuters)

Egypt's foreign ministry has said that there is a “state of anticipation” that Tuesday's ministerial-level talks in Addis Ababa on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam will “overcome the current stalemate.”

The foreign ministers, irrigation ministers and chiefs of intelligence of Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan will meet to follow up on the results of the first ministerial meeting, held in Khartoum on 4 April, and the directives of the leaders of the three countries during their meeting on the sidelines of the African Union summit in the Ethiopian capital in January.

"This meeting comes as the latest meeting of the tripartite technical committee held on 5 May in Khartoum, which didn’t achieve any progress towards adopting the consultative offices’ advisory report, which was approved by Egypt, resulting in a stalemate regarding the resumption of studies on the possible negative effects of the GERD on the two downstream countries [Egypt and Sudan] and ways to avoid them," read a statement by Ahmed Abu Zeid, the Egyptian foreign ministry’s spokesman. 

Abu Zeid expressed Egypt's hope that the high-level meeting would be able to implement the directives of the three leaders to overcome the obstacles facing the tripartite technical committee and to accomplish the course of studies confirmed by the 2015 Declaration of Principles, for the mutual benefit of all countries and to enhance tripartite cooperation in various fields such as trade, investment and technical cooperation.

The April talks were aimed to resolve an impasse in negotiations over studies conducted to determine the impact of the dam on the downstream countries of Egypt and Sudan.

An Egyptian foreign ministry statement in April as rejected comments by Ethiopian and Sudanese officials that he said blamed Egypt for the failure of the talks.

The Ethiopian government began construction of the GERD on the Blue Nile near the country’s border with Sudan in 2011, as part of a development plan aimed at eradicating poverty and generating electricity.

Over the past seven years, Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan have held multiple rounds of talks on the dam’s anticipated impact on Nile water resources.
Egypt has expressed concern the dam could adversely affect its share of Nile water.

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