President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi is set to meet Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn in Cairo in December to discuss the situation with the negotiations on the Renaissance Dam, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Ahmed Abou Zaid said in a phone call to CBC TV station on Tuesday.
Abou Zaid added that Egypt is looking to gain international support for its position in the negotiations with Sudan and Ethiopia.
“Political and technical courses [of action] have been discussed, but the disagreement between the three countries on the technical part requires exerting more political efforts,” Abou Zaid said.
Egypt’s minister of Water Resources and Irrigation Mohamed Abdelaty announced the failure of the negotiations, following the 17th meeting of the Tripartite National Committee on the Renaissance Dam (TNCRD) in Cairo. That meeting was to discuss the situation of the dam in light of the initial report by the two French consultancy firms BRL and Artelia, which were tasked with assessing the possible impact of the dam on downstream countries.
Abdelaty said that Egypt has initially accepted the initial report of the French firm as it was in accordance with what the three countries agreed to previously, however, the two other parties of the committee did not express acceptance of the report, calling for amendments different to the prior agreement and the re-explaining of the basic principles of the report.
The minister expressed Egypt’s concerns regarding the failure of the technical path, “despite Egypt’s efforts to ensure completing studies on the dam as soon as possible.” Those efforts include calling for a meeting in May 2017.
The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, formerly known as the Millennium Dam, is under construction in the Benishangul-Gumuz region of Ethiopia, on the Blue Nile river.
Construction of the dam began in April 2011. However, Egypt has expressed concerns that the construction of the Renaissance Dam could negatively affect its historic Nile water share of 55bn sqm, which it has maintained since a 1959 agreement with Sudan.