Ethiopia provided, on Tuesday, a draft proposal outlining guidelines and rules on the Nile dam filling, without any mention of a legally binding agreement. The Ethiopian proposal on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) does not align with the outcomes of the ministerial meeting on Monday.
In response, both Egypt and Sudan decided to suspend talks to hold internal discussions on Addis Ababa’s actions, Egypt’s Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation said in a statement.
On Tuesday, the legal and technical committees representing the three countries involved in talks on the Ethiopian dam resumed two parallel paths of discussions on the disputed points regarding the dam’s filling and operation.
In a statement following the Tuesday meeting, Ethiopia said both Egypt and Sudan requested to adjourn the meeting whilst they consider the Ethiopian version of guidelines and rules on the GERD filling that Addis Ababa submitted on 24 July.
Despite the Egyptian statement not setting a date for the upcoming meeting, Ethiopia said that it “is expected to reconvene on Monday 10 August as proposed by Egypt’s delegation”.
The Tuesday meeting comes in accordance with the outcomes of the Monday talks that gathered the respective Ministers of Water Resources from the three countries. The previous meeting had been organised with hopes of reaching a legally binding agreement on the disputed points.
According to Egypt’s Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation, the current round of talks will focus only on the filling and operation of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD). The talks, which are guided by the African Union (AU), will not address future projects over the Blue Nile.
Negotiations are being observed by the AU Assembly Bureau, alongside representatives from AU member states, the US, and the European Union (EU). They had started on 27 July, before being postponed for the period of one week, upon Sudan’s request.