Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD)

Egypt denies claims over ‘hindering’ talks over GERD

Fri, Apr. 13, 2018
CAIRO – 13 April 2018: Egypt denied media reports claiming that Egypt “hindered” an agreement on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) from being concluded during the last round of negotiations held in Khartoum, according to Foreign Ministry spokesperson Ahmed Abu Zeid on Thursday.

This was in response to the media outlets that mentioned that Ethiopian Foreign Ministry spokesman Meles Alem had said that Egypt “lacks goodwill” to move forth with the consultations, and that the water ministries of Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan have not planned to meet soon.

Abu Zeid remarked that Egypt has been willing during the meeting to reach an agreement in line with the directives of the three countries to reach a solution to break the current stalemate in the technical negotiations of the GERD.

He stressed Egypt’s positivity toward the negotiations and reaching a consensus among the three countries as it has called for the World Bank’s participation in the tripartite negotiations, “which proves its goodwill in the negotiations,” along with its suggestions in the recent Khartoum-hosted talks to reach an agreement.

He remarked that Egypt “will not reveal any details about the meeting until discussions resume in the coming meetings.”

He added that the Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry called on Wednesday his Sudanese and Ethiopian counterparts to hold another meeting in Cairo to resume the talks over the technical issues and to complete the necessary studies, which prove that Egypt is keen on reaching an agreement.

He confirmed that Egypt cannot be the hindrance in reaching a consensus unlike what has been circulated by some media outlets.

A round of discussions over the controversial Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) between Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan in Khartoum has failed, Shoukry told the press on Friday.

Shoukry headed a delegation to Khartoum on Wednesday to attend the ninth meeting to continue talks that aimed to ease Egypt’s concerns over the controversial dam.

The Egyptian foreign minister said no agreement was reached after 18 hours of talks; he added that officials touched on all the outstanding issues that led to such controversy. The meetings were resumed after a four-month hiatus due to a disagreement over technical issues related to the dam’s impact on the downstream countries of Egypt and Sudan.

Shoukry also described the talks as “transparent, but [that they] did not lead to actual results.” However, he added that the government will seek to resolve this issue within 30 days.

The foreign affairs and water ministers as well as intelligence chiefs from the three countries attended the meeting, which follows a tripartite summit that was held in January between Egypt’s President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, his Sudanese counterpart Omar al-Bashir, and Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali on the sidelines of the African Union Summit.
 
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