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New round of GERD negotiations with Ethiopia launched in Cairo

The Egyptian Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation announced the launch of a new round of negotiations on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) between Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia in Cairo.

This meeting follows up on recent negotiations held in Cairo and then Addis Ababa during the past two months, based on the agreement between the three countries.

These meetings aim to accelerate the process of reaching an agreement on the rules for filling and operating the GERD, following the meeting of the leaders of Egypt and Ethiopia on July 13.

The Egyptian Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation said that the tripartite ministerial meeting on the Renaissance Dam, which was held in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, on September 23-24, did not result in significant progress.

The ministry reported that Ethiopia backtracked during the final round of negotiations on a number of agreements previously reached between the three countries.

This negotiating round comes as a continuation of the negotiating rounds that began in Cairo on August 27 and 28, aiming to reach an agreement on the rules for filling and operating the Renaissance Dam within four months, following the July 13 meeting between the leaders of the three countries.


Stagnant talks

The Ethiopian government announced on August 11, 2022, that it has completed the third GERD filling unilaterally.

It announced the operation of the second turbine in GERD to generate electric power, which comes in light of the tension between Addis Ababa and Egypt, Sudan due to what the two countries consider a negative impact of the dam on their water shares of the Nile River.

Egypt and Sudan say they want a legally binding agreement on operating the dam, while Ethiopia says any pact should be advisory.

Both countries consider the dam a threat to their vital water supplies, while Ethiopia considers it essential for development and doubling its electricity production.

The downstream nations fear possible blows to water facilities, agricultural land, and overall availability of Nile water.

Negotiations over the dam between Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan have stalled for years, with the three parties ultimately failing to reach any agreements.

The disputed dam is the largest hydroelectric project in Africa, with a cost of more than four billion dollars.

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