Meeting was held between Egypt’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sameh Shoukry, and his Ehtiopian counterpart – Press Photo
CAIRO – 26 December 2017: Egypt’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sameh Shoukry, suggested Tuesday that the World Bank should participate in the tripartite technical meeting as a third neutral party to complete the technical studies on the impacts of the Renaissance Dam.
This was during his meeting with his counterpart, Workneh Gebeyehu, in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, to resume negotiations regarding the Renaissance Dam project.
In an official statement issued by the Ministry’s Spokesperson, Ahmed Abu Zeid, Shoukry added during the meeting that the World Bank has a broad scope of expertise necessary to facilitate an agreement in the talks of Tripartite National Committee on the Renaissance Dam (TNCRD), referring that Egypt trusts the World Bank’s neutrality.
Consequently, Ethiopia promised to consider Egypt’s suggestion, and Egypt expressed its willingness to submit this proposal to Sudan.
Shoukry expressed during the meeting Egypt’s deep concern towards the inability of the committee to reach an agreement on the inception report about the rules of filling and running the dam, adding that without an agreement, the required studies on the Renaissance dam’s effect on the two downstream countries would be disrupted.
He further remarked that Egypt has dealt flexibly with the report, as it believes that technical studies should not be politicized. He further explained that Egypt believes the consultancy office to be unbiased.
In this regard, Ethiopia’s Foreign Minister confirmed that his country is committed to the framework agreement to declare the principles, and cares for reaching a successful negotiations and cooperation among the three countries. He remarked that Ethiopia does not seek to harm Egypt’s water interests.
In response, Shoukry said that good will is not enough to implement the agreement on declaring principles as the three states should be committed to the study’s recommendations for filling and running the dam.
“On November 12, the last meeting of the Tripartite National Committee on the Renaissance Dam (TNCRD), which was hosted in Cairo, concluded without reaching an agreement regarding the guidelines suggested by a study on the dam’s potential effects on the Nile Basin states,” according to Minister of Irrigation and Water Resources, Mohamed Abdel Ati.
Abdel Ati issued a statement shortly after the meeting explaining that despite Egypt’s agreement with the study’s guidelines, the other two parties of the TNCRD did not express consensus and called for amendments.
A report based on the study presents guidelines by which Ethiopia can fill its reservoir without harming the water flow into Egypt and Sudan. The $4 billion dam is being constructed on the Blue Nile with a capacity of 74 billion cubic meters, and is expected to generate up to 6,000 megawatts of power.
Since May 2011, Cairo has voiced its concern over how the dam can reduce the country’s annual share of more than 56 billion cubic meters of Nile water. Egypt’s average water per-capita is expected to drop from 663 cubic meters per year to 582 cubic meters by 2025, according to the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS). Addis Ababa, however, claimed that the dam is necessary for Ethiopia’s development and will not harm downstream countries.