Egypt says GERD talks with Ethiopia 'stumbled', next round in Khartoum in October

Zeinab El-Gundy , Monday 16 Sep 2019

Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan to meet in October for a new GERD talks after a two-day meeting was held in Cairo

Ethiopia's GERD

Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan are scheduled to meet in October in Khartoum for another round of talks on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) and to discuss the filling and operation of the mega-dam, Egypt's Ministry of Irrigation stated on Monday.

According to the statement, the round of talks on GERD and its technical operation held in Cairo over the past two days ended without discussing the technical issues because Ethiopia rejected to discuss Egypt and Sudan's proposals.

"Due to this stumbling block in the talks, it was decided an urgent meeting will be held for the independent scientific group in Khartoum from 30 September to 3 October 2019 to discuss the Egyptian proposal of the rules to fill and operate GERD in addition to the Sudanese and Ethiopian proposals," the statement said.

Following the meeting of the independent scientific group, there will be another meeting for the ministers of irrigation from the three countries to agree on the rules of filling and operating the dam.

"It is important to have Ethiopia involved in the serious technical negotiations in Khartoum on the basis of good will to reach an agreement that will meet the common interests of the three countries based on the declaration of principles signed in Khartoum on 23 March 2015," the statement added.

Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan have engaged in talks since 2014 to reach a final agreement on operating the Renaissance dam and its impact on Egypt and Sudan.

The filling of the reservoir could have a major effect on the share of water reaching the downstream countries of Egypt and Sudan, and while Addis Ababa has suggested a three-year filling time, Egypt is requesting a period of seven years.

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