The Prime Minister of Ethiopia Abiy Ahmed and his high-level delegation held virtual talks with Sudanese Prime Minister Abdala Hamdok agreeing to continue discussions on the construction of Nile dam – Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).
“Agreement was made for technical level discussions to continue, led by the Ministers of Water Affairs of the countries,” said the Office of the Prime Minister of Ethiopia. A few weeks ago, Ethiopia has refused the last part of U.S. brokered negotiations held in Washington D.C.claiming that it needs more time to consult with the people of Ethiopia before inking the final deal. .
“The discussions focused on exploring amicable solutions related to the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam to resolve outstanding and misunderstood issues between the two parties. Responding to concerns raised by the Sudanese side, clarity was provided on environmental issues, dam safety and data exchange facilitation. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed also provided progress information on the issues raised and highlighted the role the GERD will play in strengthening the economies of three countries concerned,” said the statement.
Under construction close to Sudan border, Ethiopia’s Nile dam will generate about 5,000 megawatts of electricity when fully goes operational. The overall construction of the $4.5 billion dam is currently completed 73 percent.
Lately the Government of Sudan has been expressing its opposition about Ethiopia’s plan to start filling water GERD in the coming July. The discussion between the two leaders followed the meeting of Prime Minister Abiy with the high level delegation from Sudan last week. the delegation was led by Amb. Omer Bahir Manees, Minister of Cabinet Affairs, “discussed key issues, including border issues, enhancing Ethio-Sudan economic ties, mitigating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic collaboratively,” according to the twit from the office of the prime Minister of Ethiopia.
In a related development, Egypt, which has been opposing the dam claiming that it will reduce its historical water share from the Nile River, has recently submitted its petition to the United Nations, which is followed by the UN Secretary General Antonio Gutierrez urge for the three countries to pursue the negation.
Reports coming from Cairo today suggest that Egypt has decided to resume the tripartite negotiations with Ethiopia and Sudan.