File photo: A general view shows the opening session of Heads of States and Government of the African Union (Photo: Reuters)
The African Union’s Executive Council will hold an emergency meeting on Friday to discuss the dispute between Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), a diplomatic source told Ahram Online on Thursday.
The source said that AU Executive Council members and representatives of Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan will attend the video meeting, set for 3pm Cairo time (GMT+2), which aims to give the African body the opportunity to help reach a consensus over the long-standing disagreements.
The meeting comes in response to a call from South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, the current chairman of the African Union.
The United Nations Security Council will discuss the GERD dispute on Monday.
Recent talks between Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan broke down after Addis Ababa refused to commit to a legally binding deal on how the dam should be operated and filled.
Ethiopia has said it will start filling the dam's reservoir in July, regardless of whether a deal is reached with Egypt and Sudan.
Cairo has asked the Security Council to intervene to restart talks between the three countries in order to reach a "fair and balanced" agreement on the mega-dam, which has been under construction on the Blue Nile in the Ethiopian highlands since 2011.
Egypt had previously told the Security Council in an official letter that Ethiopia's unilateral filling of the dam would "constitute a threat to international peace and security."
Ethiopia sent a letter to the same body to defend its stance.
Sudan also sent a letter on Wednesday to the Security Council saying that it is “deeply concerned” about Ethiopia’s decision to start filling its controversial dam on the Blue Nile without prior agreement with the two downstream countries.