Sudan, Egypt and Ethiopia ministers to hold talks over Renaissance Dam

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Ethiopia's Grand Renaissance Dam is seen as it undergoes construction work on the river Nile in Guba Woreda, Benishangul Gumuz Region, Ethiopia September 26, 2019. REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri/File Photo
Ethiopia’s Grand Renaissance Dam on the river Nile in Guba Woreda, Benishangul Gumuz Region, Ethiopia September 26, 2019./REUTERS

Sudanese experts on Saturday said the prolonged negotiations regarding the disputed Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) would not lead to settlement of outstanding issues among relevant countries.

The remark was made ahead of a new round of talks between irrigation ministers of Sudan, Egypt and Ethiopia, slated for Dec. 2 to 3, in the Egyptian capital of Cairo.

During the talks, technical committees of the three countries will try to reach an agreement on the filling and operation of the GERD before Jan. 15, 2020.

“These negotiations will not lead to anything, that is why I left the Nile water file,” said Ahmed Al-Mufti, former member of Sudan delegation to the Nile water negotiations and its legal adviser.

“If the outcomes of the technical committees are non-binding and the construction continues, it means that the negotiations are not serious,” noted Al-Mufti.

He went on to say that “Sudan and Egypt have recently reached a conviction that the current negotiation is not feasible as it has been confined to marginal issues relating to the filling and operation of the dam.

What matters more are the ensuring of water security and water supply, as well as that the dam would not collapse.”

The expert stressed that the ongoing negotiations since 2011 have not reached any result, saying “therefore, Egypt asked for the mediation of the United States of America.”

“No international intervention can achieve any result since the Declaration of Principles, signed by the three countries in 2015, still works,” he added.

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