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Cairo Succeeds in Having Outside Mediator in Renaissance Dam Talks

Cairo Succeeds in Having Outside Mediator in Renaissance Dam Talks

Thursday, 31 October, 2019 - 07:45
Water flows through Ethiopia's Grand Renaissance Dam as it undergoes construction work on the river Nile in Guba Woreda, Benishangul Gumuz Region, Ethiopia September 26, 2019. REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri/File Photo

Egypt has succeeded in having an international mediation in the talks with Ethiopia and Sudan over the Renaissance Dam after it was agreed that the foreign ministers of the three countries would meet in Washington on Nov. 6 in the presence of US officials to bring their viewpoints closer.

An international mediation in the negotiations over the giant hydropower dam that Ethiopia is building on the Blue Nile is seen as a success for Cairo, which had called for such mediation in the past few weeks.

In a joint press conference with his German counterpart Heiko Maas, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said: "The US administration invited the three countries to meet in the United States on Nov. 6 in the presence of representatives from the American administration to discuss breaking the deadlock in the ongoing negotiations.”

Shoukry said it was important to continue the efforts for reaching an agreement among the three countries based on the Declaration of Principles signed in 2015.

"Demanding a mediator proves the good intention of Egypt to reach a solution in the dam crisis," the FM noted.

He added that Cairo has recognized the rights of Addis Ababa in seeking development on condition that the rights "wouldn't negatively affect Egypt.”

For his part, Maas called for resolving the dam crisis by reaching an agreement through dialogue.

Last Thursday, the Egyptian and Ethiopian leaders agreed to the immediate resumption of the work by a technical committee trying to agree on the operating terms of the Dam, an Egyptian presidential spokesman said.

For eight years, Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan have been engaged in tripartite talks to reach a final agreement on the rules of filling and operating the dam, without reaching any result.

In 2011, Addis Ababa announced the construction of the $4 billion dam to be the centerpiece of Ethiopia’s bid to become Africa’s biggest power exporter, generating more than 6,000 megawatts.

Egypt fears that the dam will damage its limited share of the Nile water, about 55.5 billion cubic meters, which the country needs for more than 90 percent for its supply of drinking water, irrigation for agriculture and industry.

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