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Egypt Affirms It Seeks Fair Agreement on GERD

Egypt Affirms It Seeks Fair Agreement on GERD

Tuesday, 24 December, 2019 - 10:45
US President Donald Trump after meeting with top representatives from Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) (File photo: Trump's Twitter account)

The Egyptian government said it wants to reach a fair agreement on the filling and operation of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), in a way that meets the interests of Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia.

Egypt fears that filling the reservoir of the dam that is being built on the Blue Nile will restrict the already scarce water supply from the Nile River, on which the country depends almost entirely.

The government discussed the outcomes of the first meeting held in Ethiopia and the second meeting in Egypt, as well as the Washington meeting held earlier this month.

The Egyptian government confirmed that it seeks an agreement on the filling and operation of the Ethiopian dam, which would achieve the interests of the three countries, and achieve coordination between the Renaissance Dam and the High Dam in Egypt, in a manner that preserves mutual benefits and the sustainability of the river.

Ethiopia says the dam that generates hydroelectric power will be the largest in Africa and will play a crucial role in its economic development.

The third meeting on GERD concluded on December 22 in Khartoum, as part of a series of four meetings held at the level of Ministers of Water Resources of the three countries as well as the United States and the World Bank as observers.

The participants agreed to continue consultations and technical discussions on all contentious issues during the fourth meeting which will be held in Addis Ababa on January 9-10. This comes in light of the meeting of foreign ministers held last November in Washington, which was sponsored by the US Treasury Secretary and attended by the President of the World Bank.

The filling period of the dam is the biggest point of contention between Ethiopia and Egypt; Ethiopia insists it needs to be completed in three years, while Cairo wants to extend it to seven years.

The meetings came under the auspices of the United States and with the participation of the President of the World Bank, after three years of negotiations which failed to reach a conclusion.

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