African Union to hold mini-summit on GERD on Tuesday

Mohamed Soliman , Friday 17 Jul 2020

Gerd (Photo: Reuters)
Gerd (Photo: Reuters)

A mini-African summit will be held on Tuesday to continue discussing the disputes around the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), Sudanese Irrigation Minister Yasser Abbas stated on Friday.

The summit is part of the recent African Union-brokered negotiations aiming to resolve the near decade-long disagreements between Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia over the mega-dam.

The leaders of Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia attended a virtual African mini-summit on 26 June in response to a call from South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, the current chairman of the African Union.

As a result, Cairo, Addis Ababa, and Khartoum began new talks over the $4.8 billion dam on 3 July. The talks wrapped up on Monday with no major breakthrough, however.

The 11-day long virtual talks did not see resolution of the differences on major issues regarding the rules of filling and operating the hydropower project Addis Ababa is building on the Blue Nile, one of two tributaries of the Nile water.

The three countries presented their final reports concerning the path of negotiations to South Africa on Tuesday.

The Sudanese irrigation minister said on Friday his country is looking forward to taking part in the summit to reach a consensus over filing and operating the dam.

Earlier on Friday, Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi told Ramaphosa in a phone call that Nile water is an existential matter for Egyptians and said he rejects unilateral measures concerning the Ethiopian project.

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