3rd 6-party meeting if Khartoum GERD negotiations bore no outcome: Sudan FM
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CAIRO: A third six-party meeting may be held in two weeks if the Dec. 27-28 meetings in Khartoum between the foreign and irrigation ministers of Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia fails to reach an outcome, Youm7 quoted Sudanese Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour Monday.

The Tripartite National Committee (TNC) discussing the technical aspect of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) proposed three consultation firms to cooperate with French BRLi in producing an assessment of GERD’s impact on Egypt and Sudan in five months, informed sources told Youm7 Sunday.

Egypt “categorically” refuses that BRLi carries out the study on its own, the sources said.

In September, sources handling the GERD case at the Irrigation Ministry that Ethiopia insisted that BRLi conduct not the study on its own because, the sources claimed, it cooperates with Ethiopia in other projects and has “intertwined relations” with the country.

Dutch Deltares said in a September statement after withdrawing from the project “the conditions as imposed by the TNC and BRLi on how the studies should be carried out did not provide sufficient guarantee for Deltares that an independent high-quality study could be carried out.”

The meetings of the ministers of the three African states have been ongoing since Sunday to reach an agreement over the controversial Ethiopian Renaissance Dam.  They had convened in Khartoum Dec. 11-12 and Ethiopia requested a second meeting.

President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi met with Foreign Minister Hossam Moghazy and Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry ahead of the ongoing six-party meeting, and a parliamentary delegation had traveled to Khartoum before the ministers.

The ministers’ meeting with the president emphasized that the common interests of Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia can amount to “economic integration” and should not be limited to water resources, a Dec. 24 presidential statement said.

Additional reporting by Asmaa Nassar.

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