A general view of Ethiopia's Grand Renaissance Dam is seen during a media tour along the river Nile in Benishangul Gumuz Region, Guba Woreda, in Ethiopia March 31, 2015 - AFP. A general view of Ethiopia's Grand Renaissance Dam is seen during a media tour along the river Nile in Benishangul Gumuz Region, Guba Woreda, in Ethiopia March 31, 2015 - AFP.

Renaissance Dam talks to be continued in Washington on Wednesday

Sun, Dec. 8, 2019
CAIRO - 8 December 2019: A high-level meeting of the foreign ministers of Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia will take place in Washington on Monday under the sponsorship of the US treasury secretary for talks on the under-construction Renaissance Dam.

The ministers will assess the outcome of the two previous meetings which mainly addressed the mechanism of filling and operating the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) being built on the Blue Nile, according to a statement by the Water Resources Ministry released on Sunday.

This is the third meeting of four rounds of talks being held in accordance with an agreement reached in a US-brokered meeting between the three parties in Washington in November to break the deadlock in negotiations.

The first meeting was held in Ethiopia on November 15-16 and the second meeting was held in Cairo on December 2-3.

Egypt and Ethiopia are at loggerheads over the $4-billion dam; Cairo voiced concern over its water share [55.5 billion cubic meters] after Ethiopia started building the dam on the Blue Nile in May 2011. A series of tripartite talks between the two countries along with Sudan began in 2014. One year later, the three countries signed the Declaration of Principles, per which the downstream countries [Egypt and Sudan] should not be negatively affected by the construction of the dam.

However, Cairo has blamed Addis Ababa for hindering a final agreement concerning a technical problem, calling for activating the Article No. 10 of the Declaration of Principles, which stipulates that if the three countries could not find a solution to these differences, they have to ask for mediation.

Later, the United States sent an invitation to the three countries to resume the talks. Meetings were held with foreign and water ministers of Egypt and Upper stream countries, in the presence of United States Secretary of Treasury Steven Mnuchin and a representative from the World Bank.

President Donald Trump praised the meeting with the top representatives ofthe three countries, saying on his Twitter that it “went well and discussions will continue during the day!”

President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi also lauded the constructive and pivotal role played by President Trump and the US, which reflects the depth of the strategic relations between Egypt and the United States. The president said that this would contribute to reaching an agreement on the filling and operation of GERD and promoting stability and development in East Africa.
 
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