Egypt Independent

Egypt says did not make concessions in GERD negotiations



Egypt’s Irrigation Ministry denied that it was under pressure during the last round of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) negotiations on Tuesday to waive some of its demands.

Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan held the latest round of talks on the GERD in Washington on Tuesday and Wednesday under the auspices of the United States and the World Bank.

The three countries reached a draft deal on filling the GERD reservoir.

In a statement on Friday, the ministry explained that the joint statement issued by the Washington meeting indicates foundations consistent with Egypt’s proposals regarding the rules for filling and operating the dam and resolving the disputes around it.

The ministry added that the round of negotiations between Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan dealt with the quantities of water to be stored and the years for filling the dam, in accordance with the hydrology of the Blue Nile according to the size of the flood that varies from year to year.

The statement said that this concept does not depend on the number of years and quantities stored each year in a specific or fixed manner, but rather on the river’s hydrology and flooding.

The statement issued by the three countries after the last round of negotiations in Washington dealt with the first filling phase in a quick manner, and the operation of turbines to generate energy which achieves the main goal of the dam without serious impact on the downstream countries, thereby providing energy to the Ethiopian people, the Ministry added.

The statement said that guidelines regarding droughts have been reached with Ethiopia  committed to measures to mitigate its effect, and that details regarding this framework will be completed with consultations within the next two weeks.

Many important points will be discussed in a specific time frame within the next two weeks, to culminate in a meeting late January – the most important of which is on cooperation in operating rules.

During the next two weeks, the parties will discuss the mechanism for dispute resolution which could arise from resetting the operation policy, due to changes in flood level from one year to another or from one period to another.

The statement stressed that the next meeting in Washington is of great importance to agree on all outstanding issues and reach a comprehensive agreement.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm