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Cairo to host talks on Renaissance Dam on December 2 and 3

Cairo [Egypt], Nov 17: Egypt will host the next round of talks between Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia on the disputed Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) on December 2 and 3.

A ministerial meeting on the Ethiopian Renaissance Dam was held on November 6 in Addis Ababa and the foreign ministers of Egypt, Ethiopia, Sudan reaffirmed their joint commitment to reach a comprehensive, cooperative, adaptive, sustainable, and mutually beneficial agreement on the filling and operation of the GERD and to establish a clear process for fulfilling that commitment in accordance with the 2015 Declaration of Principles.

Upon the outcomes of the meeting regarding GERD on November 6, 2019, three countries have to hold the series of meetings to reach an agreement by January 15, 2020.

The participants agreed to hold four technical governmental meetings at the level of water ministers of the three countries and the World Bank and the United States would support and attend the meetings as observers.

Technical elements governing the process of filling and operation of the dam were discussed, the ministry said in a press statement.

The ministers also discussed how to deal with possible droughts, protracted drought and the refill situation, in addition to tackling the coordination mechanism between the three countries, where each country presented its views on these elements, Xinhua quoted the statement of the Egyptian Ministry of Water Resources.

Ethiopia started building the GERD in 2011, while Egypt, a downstream Nile Basin country that relies on the river for its freshwater, is concerned that the dam might affect its 55.5-billion-cubic-meter annual share of the water resources of the river.Sudanese Minister of Irrigation and Water Resources Yasser Abbas said in a statement that Sudan’s stance towards the rules of filling the reservoir depends on the river hydrology concerning drought and rainwater seasons. He added that his country asked for an annual flow of 35 billion cubic meters of Nile water to the downstream countries over the period of reservoir filling.

As per the Egyptian proposal, 40 billion cubic meters of water should be allowed to reach the other two countries. Meanwhile, Ethiopia has proposed 31 billion cubic meters, said Abbas.

Ethiopia’s plans to build the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam on the river’s Blue Nile tributary for its development . Egypt considers the dam to be a looming threat to its very survival.

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