The ministers of water resources and irrigation of Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan continued their virtual meetings on the disputed points regarding the Ethiopia’s mega Nile dam on Sunday.
As negotiations continue on technical and legal issues related to the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) filling and operation, the Sunday meetings were held “separately” between observers and each of the three countries.
During the bilateral meetings, Egypt explained its concerns about the legal and technical issues to observers, a statement from the Egyptian Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation said. The Egyptian move was aimed at bringing the various parties’ viewpoints closer together, although the negotiations path has revealed differences among the three involved countries.
Egypt affirmed that it has not rejected any development projects in the Nile Basin, including in Ethiopia, and supports the basin state’s efforts to achieve development.
Negotiations on Ethiopia’s dam resumed on Friday under supervision from the African Union (AU), which is currently headed by Presidency holder, South Africa.
The AU’s Assembly Bureau and representatives from AU member states, the US, and the EU also participated in the meeting.
The Egyptian delegation reviewed Egypt’s water situation and the sensitivity of the GERD issue to its people, which is a matter of existence, the statement said. The delegation also took the opportunity to respond to inquiries from the observers present.
It added that Egyptian negotiators pointed out to their country’s endeavours to reach a fair and balanced agreement that takes into account the interests of the three countries.
During Sunday’s meeting, Egypt reviewed its proposal for generating sufficient electricity for Ethiopia which does not harm Egyptian and Sudanese interests, in accordance with the 2015 Declaration of Principles.
The Egyptian proposal also addresses the means of dealing with any future projects on the Blue Nile.
In televised comments on Saturday evening, Mohamed Sebaey, Spokesperson for Egypt’s Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation, said the parties agreed on about 95% of the disputed technical points.
He pointed out that a technical problem related to the Ethiopian dam’s safety, which concerns Sudan, has been raised,
Sebaey added that the differences regarding the dispute resolution mechanisms and solving differences among the parties have, themselves, yet to be resolved.
Egypt has resumed talks on the Ethiopian Dam in the hopes that the other parties involved share their good faith in the process, he affirmed.
The River Nile is considered Egypt’s lifeline, with the river providing the most populous country in the Nile River Basin with about 97% of its current water needs.