Ethiopia,Egypt and Sudan agree to resume talks on the Nile on Tuesday

Source: Sudan Tribune

August 16, 2020 (KHARTOUM) – The Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Irrigation in Sudan, Egypt and Ethiopia have agreed to resume difficult negotiations on the Renaissance Dam next Tuesday.

Sudan's State Minister for Foreign Affairs Omer Gamar Eldin speaks to reporters on 29 April 2020 (SC photo)

The minister of the three riparian countries held a videoconference meeting on Sunday convened by South African Foreign Minister, the current chair of the African Union, after the postponement of the talks for a week on the request of the Sudanese government.

“At the invitation of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of South Africa, we the Foreign and Irrigation Ministers of Sudan, Egypt and Ethiopia, agreed in a meeting held on Sunday to resume negotiations next Tuesday,” said Foreign Minister Omer Gamar Eldin.

Gamar Eldin added that the parties agreed to compile their positions papers in one document with the support of African Union experts and observers.

“The draft will be submitted to the AU chairman to review it and considering if it can become a basis for an agreement between the three countries,” he added.

For its part, the Irrigation ministry said in a separate statement that Sudan demanded returning to the agenda set by the President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, in his letter of August 4, 2020, and included in the report of African experts submitted to the African mini-summit on July 24, 2020.

The report recommended a legally binding agreement on the filling and operation of the GERD and ensured “Ethiopia’s right to freely develop future upstream projects as long as they are in accordance with international law”.

In Cairo, the foreign ministry issued a statement saying that during the meeting Egypt stressed the need to conclude a legally binding agreement that regulates the filling and operation of the Renaissance Dam.

The deal should “preserves the rights of the three countries, secures their water interests, and limits the impact of this dam and its effects on the two downstream countries”.

Ethiopia sovereign rights

Speaking in a virtual meeting with the Ethiopian in the Nile River riparian countries on 15 August, foreign minister Gedu Andargachew stressed that the Renaissance Dam “corrects historical imbalances” in the use of the Nile water.

“The minister said since the Nile river basin holds 2/3 of Ethiopia’s water resources, utilizing it is a matter of sovereignty and an essential requirement for the development of the country,” further said a statement issued by the Ethiopian foreign ministry.

Ethiopian Diaspora contributes to financing the $4 billion hydropower dam being built on Blue Nile river.

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