GERD dam talks adjourned for a week, Ethiopia says remains committed to negotiation

FILE PHOTO: A satellite image shows a closeup view of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) and the Blue Nile River in Ethiopia July 12, 2020. Satellite image ©2020 Maxar Technologies via REUTERS

The tripartite negotiations on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) have been postponed by a week upon the request of Sudan, Ethiopia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Monday.

The talks involving Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan were due to resume this week, having been adjourned for two weeks.

“The meeting is expected to reconvene next Monday on 17 August 2020 as proposed by Sudan. Ethiopia remains committed to the tripartite negotiation as negotiated agreement is the only option,” a statement from the ministry said.

The three nations have been locked in a months-long dispute regarding the dam, which Ethiopian hopes will make it Africa’s largest electricity exporter.

Egypt has long expressed fears that building the $5 billion dam will threaten water supplies that have fed its agriculture and economy for thousands of years.

With interest from the international community, the three sides have made progress on the talks, and Addis Ababa remains optimistic a suitable deal will be agreed upon.