After 11 days of online talks over the disputed Nile dam, the concerned parties failed to reach consensus on the undecided points, according to Egypt’s Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation.
On Monday, water ministers of Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia discussed the outcomes of the legal and technical committees’ meetings that were held earlier in the day.
Each country should present a final report on the negotiations to South Africa, the current chair of the African Union (AU) on Tuesday. African mini-summit is set to be held for a final discussion on the disputed issues.
This Nile dam round of talks was observed by the AU Assembly Bureau, representatives from AU member states, the US, and the European Union (EU).
Meanwhile, Ethiopian Minister of Foreign Affairs Gedu Andargachew said that Addis Ababa has not started filling the reservoir of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) yet, denying local Ethiopian media reports that the filing has begun on 8 July.
The main points of contention between the three parties include filling and operation of the GERD, and how will the parties solve any potential conflict. Egypt has also rejected any future water projects on the Blue Nile.
Moreover, the Egyptian negotiators resisted the Ethiopian rigorous attitude regarding the period needed for filling the dam. Ethiopia said it will take three years but Egypt firmly rejected that as it will have disastrous impacts on its national security. Egypt suggested filling the dam over seven years instead.
However, Sudan proposed a 5-year period for filling the Nile dam, and the other two parties still studying the Sudanese proposal.
Nevertheless, Egypt has voiced its concerns regarding the GERD project’s safety, as Cairo has not obtained the engineering documents, reports, and designs related to the project, according to Egypt’s Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation Mohammed Abdel Aaty.
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.