Second round talks over Ethiopia dam begin in Khartoum
Addis Ababa, December 9 (WIC) - The second round of tripartite negotiations concerning the Grand Renaissance Dam in Ethiopia began on Sunday in Khartoum.
Representatives from Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia met in the Sudanese capital to continue discussing the potential impacts of the Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam on downstream countries.
Egypt has voiced concerns that the upstream project, slated to be the largest hydroelectric dam in Africa, will compromise its supply of water. It has since demanded that Ethiopia downsize the size of the dam which Ethiopia strongly rejected.
Sunday's negotiations come after a 5 December meeting between Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir and Ethiopia's Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, in which the Sudanese President announced his support for the dam's construction. The pair signed 14 new agreements dealing with security, a free trade zone, investment and electricity.
Motaz Mousa, the newly appointed Sudanese water minister, stressed during his opening address yesterday the importance of “dialogue between Nile Basin countries.”
Ahmed Bahaa El-Din, head of the Nile Water Sector, the body responsible for coordination and negotiation with Nile Basin countries, reiterated Egypt’s position on supporting development in all Nile Basin countries without harming any one country.
Ethiopia asserted the importance of forming a technical committee which would implement the findings of the international tripartite report released in June on the effects of the Ethiopian dam.
Sunday’s meeting comes one day ahead of a meeting between the water ministers of Egypt, Ethopia and Sudan.
Egyptian, Ethiopian and Sudanese water ministers met for the first round of talks on 4 November in Khartoum. Talks failed to produce a tripartite committee to supervise the dam and the ministers decided to postpone talks until December. (compiled from other media)
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