CAIRO: Tripartite negotiations between Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam will resume from August 26-27 in Khartoum, according to Ahmed Faqih, the director of the department of trans-border rivers in the Ethiopian Ministry of Water and Energy, Anadolu reported Tuesday.
The resumption of negotiations follows a proposal from Egypt approved by Ethiopia and Sudan.
Ahmed said that negotiations will start from the point they ended at last time when they led to the formation of a committee from the three countries to study the dam’s hydrological, environmental, social and economic effects.
The negotiations were originally scheduled to be held on August 16 and 17 in Khartoum. However, the Ethiopian government sent Egypt a request asking for a delay in negotiations, Egypt’s Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation Hossam Moghazy said Saturday, according to MENA.
The Ethiopian government suggested that the tripartite discussion should be held after Aug. 21 because the first fixed time coincides with a Nile Basin Countries meeting. Egypt will not be part of the Nile Basin meetings due to its frozen membership after the signing of the Entebbe Agreement without Egypt and Sudan’s approval.
According to the Entebbe Agreement, four Nile Basin states (Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania and Ethiopia) would take a larger water share of the Nile, which would affect both Sudan and Egypt. The latter two countries currently receive 90 percent of Nile water as dictated by a treaty signed by all Nile Basin Country member states in 1929, BBC reported May 14.
Construction of the Renaissance Dam sparked controversy between Ethiopia and Egypt when it began during the reign of former President Mohamed Morsi. As reported widely in media and made available on Youtube by Morsi’s Freedom and Justice Party, Morsi said in a speech at the Popular Conference on Egypt’s Rights to Nile Water in June 2013 that if Egypt’s share of Nile water decreases, “Egyptians’ blood will be the alternative.”
But Ethiopian relations have warmed since the beginning of the rule of current President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi.
Sisi discussed the controversial dam with Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn on the sidelines of the 23rd African Union (AU) Summit in Malabo on June 26, and agreed to form the tripartite dam committee, state-owned newspaper Al-Ahram reported.