Sudan calls for renewed talks on Blue Nile dam

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FILE PHOTO: Water flows through Ethiopia's Grand Renaissance Dam as it undergoes construction work on the river Nile in Guba Woreda, Benishangul Gumuz Region, Ethiopia September 26, 2019. REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri/File Photo

Sudan has called for the resumption of talks with Egypt and Ethiopia on the giant Blue Nile hydropower dam after the failure of a U.S-led mediation effort earlier this year.

FILE PHOTO: 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. Picture taken September 26, 2019. REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri/File Photo

The three countries have been at odds over the filling and operation of the $4 billion Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), under construction near Ethiopia’s border with Sudan on the Blue Nile, which flows into the Nile River.

Sudan’s irrigation minister on Monday invited his Egyptian and Ethiopian counterparts to resume negotiations digitally on Tuesday “in order to reach a comprehensive and satisfactory agreement that meets the interests of the three countries.”

The dam is the centerpiece in Ethiopia’s bid to become Africa’s biggest power exporter but has sparked concerns in Cairo that Egypt’s already scarce supplies of Nile waters, on which its population of more than 100 million people is almost entirely dependent, would be further restricted.

Sudan, Ethiopia and Egypt had been expected to sign an agreement in Washington on the filling and operation of the dam in February but Ethiopia skipped the meeting and only Egypt initialed the deal.

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