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Egypt’s Irrigation Ministry: Sudan Requested Suspension of Dam Talks

Egypt’s Irrigation Ministry: Sudan Requested Suspension of Dam Talks

Saturday, 24 October, 2020 - 07:15
Workers are photographed at the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), near Guba in Ethiopia. AFP file photo

Egyptian Minister of Water Resources Mohamed Abdel Aty announced that talks on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam have been suspended at Sudan’s request.


The Minister said the negotiations were stalled over lack of agreement between the three concerned parties, adding that the Sudanese delegation requested to stop the process until its consultations with the African Union come to a conclusion.


Egypt and Sudan stress the importance of reaching a binding legal agreement with Ethiopia on the rules for filling and operating the GERD in a manner that preserves common interests.


Since last July, the African Union has initiated a round of talks between the three countries to allow progress in carrying out independent proposals by each party.


However, negotiations were suspended in August following a dispute over the draft guidelines and rules for filling the dam, lacking any operating rules or any elements that reflect the legal obligation of the agreement.


Abdel Aty said during a television interview on Thursday that “Egypt is in contact with AU President Cyril Ramaphosa to discuss the issue of the dam.”


“There could be a change in the coming days,” he added.


The third Cairo Water Week 2020 was concluded Thursday with the theme “Water Security in Arid Regions” the Road to Dakar 2021, emphasizing how water is an essential asset to all aspects of lives including health, economy and environment.


During the opening of the Water Week, Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly had stressed the necessity of reaching a binding legal agreement on the rules for filling and operating GERD in a manner that preserves common interests.


The PM also spoke about the importance of not taking any unilateral decisions that would affect stability in the region.


At the concluding session of the conference, Christian Berger, Ambassador of the EU to Egypt said, “Cairo Water Week is an important platform that supports Egypt’s position as a regional hub for integrated water management and knowledge sharing.”


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