CAIRO: Sudan and Ethiopia have requested Egypt to convene the 9th round of their tripartite meetings to late October to talk the issue of a consultation firm for evaluating the impact of the under-construction Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), stated Egyptian Minister of Water Resource and Irrigation, Hossam Moghazy Sunday.
The meetings were scheduled to be held Oct. 5 in Cairo, MENA reported Egyptian Presidential spokesperson Alaa Youssef on Sept. 28. His statement came following a meeting between President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi and Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly in New York.
The meetings were postponed to be held in the fourth week of October as Ethiopia is currently conducting a government reshuffle, Moghazy added.
The construction of the dam has been a high-priority issue for Egypt’s government, which has raised concerns it would negatively affect its water supply. Ethiopia has claimed the dam is necessary for its development; both states agreed to tripartite talks that started in August 2014 and have been hosted by Sudan.
During the August talks, the Tripartite National Committee (TNC), formed by 12 representatives from the three countries, agreed to choose an international consultancy firm to evaluate the dam’s effects. The committee of the three countries assigned French and Dutch offices, BRL and Deltares, to conduct the studies; however, Deltares withdrew citing TNC and BRL’s failure to provide sufficient guarantees of transparency.
Following the withdrawal of the Dutch firm, the Egyptian government requested an urgent meeting of the TNC. However, Ethiopia refused due to an ongoing formation of a new government in Addis Ababa.