Pledge to hold further Nile River talks

By The Eastafrican

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Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia have agreed to hold further talks on the impact of Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) on the flow of the River Nile.

The three states, at a meeting in Addis Ababa, pledged to further study the impact of the filling up and the overall operation of the giant dam’s reservoir.

The GERD reservoir has a capacity of 74 billion cubic meters and its filling up was of great concern to Egypt.

The meeting of Foreign, Water and Irrigation ministers that ended early Wednesday, had run for 12 hours uninterrupted.

The Intelligence and Security officials of the three states also participated.

The previous talks had been characterised by strong disagreements over the French private firm’s impact assessment report.

Following the latest talks, the three states will establish an independent scientific research group as well as a joint infrastructure development fund to pave the way for cooperation.

They have also agreed to continue their negotiation on regular basis and to address queries through formal and transparent channels. The next negotiations are scheduled for early July.

To build trust

“We have charted a road map that, if successful, will be able to break difficulties that we have been facing,” Egypt’s Foreign minister Sameh Shoukry told reporters after the marathon talks.

Ethiopian ambassador to Cairo Taye Atske-Sillasie, who attended the talks, also said the three countries had struck an agreement.

Beside the talks, the Egypt delegation met Ethiopian Prime minister Abiy Ahmed in a bid to build trust between the two countries. Egypt officially invited Mr Abiy to visit Cairo.

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