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Sudan declines partial agreement with Ethiopia on Renaissance Dam

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Ethiopia's Grand Renaissance Dam is seen as it undergoes construction work on the Blue Nile in Guba Woreda, Ethiopia on 26 Spet 2019 (Reuters photo)May 12, 2020 (KHARTOUM) - Sudan has declined an Ethiopian proposal to conclude a partial agreement without Egypt, to launch the first filling process of the Renaissance Dam in next July.

Last February Sudan did not initial a draft agreement prepared by the U.S. Treasury in Washington saying any deal should be accepted by the three parties but this did not happen because Ethiopia was absent.

"The Sudanese Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok informed his Ethiopian counterpart, Abiy Ahmed of his country’s steadfast position on the need to reaching a tripartite agreement between Khartoum, Addis Ababa and Cairo, before the start of the first filling of the Renaissance Dam," said the Irrigation ministry in a statement on Tuesday.

The statement said that Hamdok informed Abiy of this position, in a response to a letter sent by the latter including a proposal to sign a partial agreement between the two countries before the start of the first filling of the dam lake.

"The signing of any partial agreement for the first stage requires an agreement on the technical and legal aspects that must be included in the agreement such as the coordination mechanism, data exchange, dam safety, and environmental and social impacts," further stressed the statement.

Sudan had declined the signing of the U.S. brokered a deal for similar clauses.

Sudan was accused of taking the Ethiopian side against Egypt but Khartoum says wanting to bridge the gaps between the two neighbouring countries.

The Sudanese prime minister, according to the statement, proposed to resume talks on the outstanding matter through videoconference to reach an agreement over the pending issues.

The head of the Sudanese negotiating committee, Saleh Hamad, said that there are efforts by Khartoum to resume the negotiations based on the Washington process that dealt with about 90% of the disagreements.

Hamad expected the resumption of the negotiations soon to reach a comprehensive agreement on filling and operating the Ethiopian Renaissance Dam before the next rainy session.

(ST)

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