Nile dam talks to resume on Sunday: Sudan

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Khartoum, Nov 1 | Sudanese authorities have said that the tripartite negotiations with Egypt and Ethiopia over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) will resume on Sunday.

“The negotiations on filling and operation of the GERD will resume on Sunday among ministers of water affairs in the three countries, to be chaired by Naledi Pandor, Minister of International Relations and Cooperation of South Africa, the current chair of the African Union (AU),” Xinhua news agency quoted Sudan’s Ministry of Irrigation and Water Resources as saying in a statement on Saturday.

The three countries agreed to convene a meeting to submit a report to the AU within one week on means of achieving tangible progress in the talks which have stalled since August, it noted.

The Ministry added that the three countries have agreed to work during the week-long round of talks to set up an agenda as well as timetable for the negotiations and a list of the outcomes to be reached with the help of the observers and experts in a manner that is different from the previous rounds.

“During the previous meeting, Sudan expressed rejection to the continuation of the talks with the previous method which led to a deadlock during the past rounds,” Saleh Hamad, head of government’s negotiating delegation, was quoted as saying in the statement.

“Sudan has proposed giving a bigger role to the experts and observers in the negotiation process to narrow the viewpoints among the three countries,” Hamad added.

Sudan, Egypt and Ethiopia have been negotiating under the AU over technical and legal issues related to the filling and operation of the GERD.

Ethiopia, which started building the GERD in 2011, expects to produce over 6,000 megawatts of electricity from the project to push the country’s development forward.

Meanwhile, Egypt and Sudan, downstream Nile Basin countries that rely on the river for water, are concerned that the dam might affect their Nile water share.

Egypt fears that the GERD would negatively impact the country’s water supply, and has insisted that measures be put in place to protect downstream countries in case of drought during the dam’s filling process.

Source: IANS

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