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Egypt, Ethiopia, Sudan to Try to Resolve Dam Dispute in January Washington Meeting

Egypt, Ethiopia, Sudan to Try to Resolve Dam Dispute in January Washington Meeting

Tuesday, 10 December, 2019 - 07:30
The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam is seen as it undergoes construction work on the river Nile in Guba Woreda, Benishangul Gumuz Region, Ethiopia, Sept. 26, 2019. (Reuters)

The foreign ministers of Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan plan to meet in Washington on Jan. 13 to resolve their dispute over a massive dam project on the Blue Nile in Ethiopia, according to a joint statement issued by the US Treasury Department on Monday.

The foreign ministers and water ministers of the three African countries met with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and World Bank President David Malpass on Monday to work out differences over the $4 billion Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, the second such meeting in Washington since early November.

Egypt fears the filling of the dam reservoir on the Blue Nile tributary will restrict already scarce supplies of water from the Nile, on which the country is almost entirely dependent. Sudan is also downriver from the project.

Ethiopia says the hydroelectric dam, which will be Africa’s largest, is crucial to its economic development.

“The Ministers of Foreign Affairs look forward to reconvening in Washington, DC on January 13, 2020 to review the results of the upcoming technical meetings in Khartoum and Addis Ababa with the goal of finalizing an agreement,” the statement said.

It said the ministers agreed that the technical meetings should try to develop rules and guidelines for the filling and operation of the dam, the definition of drought conditions, and drought mitigation measures.

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