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Sudan Tribune

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Tripartite committee on Ethiopian dam to meet Sunday in Khartoum

December 26, 2015 (KHARTOUM) – The eleventh meeting of the tripartite committee on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) would convene Sunday in Khartoum with the participation of the Irrigation and foreign ministers of Sudan, Egypt and Sudan.

The planned Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam project (AP)
The planned Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam project (AP)
Sudan’s minister of water resources and electricity Muataz Musa told the official news agency (SUNA) Saturday would build on the outcome of the previous meeting, stressing the three nations are keen to cooperate to ensure the success of the talks in order to achieve their common interests.

Earlier this month, the ministers of water and foreign affairs in Sudan, Egypt and Ethiopia concluded a two-day meeting in Khartoum which was widely believed to have failed to bridge the differences particularly between Ethiopia and Egypt.

However, Sudan’s foreign minister Ibrahim Ghandour last week revealed that the meeting achieved positive results but that it was withheld from the media.

He emphasized in an interview with Egypt’s Middle East News Agency (MENA) that the negotiations are tough, explaining that water is a matter of national security for any country and that “everyone’s job is to make sure that National Security is preserved for all of us”.

Ghandour nonetheless expressed hope that these “positive” results could soon be articulated in the form of an agreement that satisfies all sides during Sunday’s meeting.

The eleventh meeting is expected to discuss the outstanding technical issues regarding the dam’s construction.

The multi-billion dollar dam is being constructed on the Blue Nile, about 20 kilometers from the Sudanese border, and has a capacity of 74 billion cubic meters, and is expected to generate electrical power of up to 6,000 megawatts.

Egypt has consistently expressed worry that the construction of the GERD will affect its annual share of water from Nile.

But Ethiopia insists that this will not occur and asserts that the project is indispensable to its own national development and the economic welfare of its burgeoning population.