Egypt calls for new GERD talks: FM
Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry Egypt calls for new GERD talks: FM By: Egypt Today staff Sun, Apr. 15, 2018
CAIRO â" 15 April 2018: Egypt has invited ministers of foreign affairs and irrigation, as well as heads of the intelligence agencies of Ethiopia and Sudan for another round of talks about the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry told daily Al-Ahram.
Shoukry added that talks will be held in Cairo starting April 20. The minister is currently in Riyadh to attend preparatory meetings for the 29th Arab Summit.
Moreover, Shoukry said invitation for another round demonstrates just how keen Egypt is to reach a common understanding between the three parties.< /p>
In the past seven years, Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan have held several rounds of talks on the damâs anticipated impact on Nile water resources.
On Thursday, Egypt denied media reports claiming that Egypt âhinderedâ an agreement on the dam from being concluded during the last round of negotiations held in Khartoum.
This was in response to the media outlets that mentioned that Ethiopian Foreign Ministry spokesman Meles Alem had said that Egypt âlacks goodwillâ to move forth with the consultations, and that the water ministries of Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan have not planned to meet soon.
Foreign Ministry spokesperson Ahmed Abu Zeid remarked that Egypt has been willing during the meeting to reach an agreement in line with the directives of the three countries to reach a solution to break the current stalemate in the technical negotiations.
A round of discussions over the controversial dam between Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sud an in Khartoum were announced as failure. The Egyptian Foreign Minister said no agreement was reached after 18 hours of talks; he added that officials touched on all the outstanding issues that led to such controversy.
The meetings were resumed after a four-month hiatus due to a disagreement over technical issues related to the damâs impact on the downstream countries of Egypt and Sudan.
Construction of the $4 billion dam started in April 2011, triggering tension with Egypt, which has voiced concerns over the dam negatively affecting its water share of the Nile river, a sacred symbol of the Egyptian civilization.
It was expected to be inaugurated in 2017, however, only 60 percent of the dam has been built so far according to Ethiopian press reports.
The dam is believed to affect Egyptâs agriculture, and will contradict its 87 percent of the Nileâs flow, according to treaties that date back to 1929.