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Kinshasa meeting should adopt new approach on GERD talks, says Sudan

April 2, 2021 (KHARTOUM) - Sudan wants a new approach to negotiations on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) to be adopted in the tripartite meeting which will take place in Kinshasa on Saturday.

The Sudanese foreign ministry on Saturday said the foreign minister and the irrigation ministers will fly to the DR Congo capital to participate in the first meeting convened by the new chairperson of the African Union President Felix Tshisekedi.

"The Sudanese delegation will participate in this round of talks to reach an agreement establishing negotiating modalities," stated the foreign ministry on Friday.

The statement stressed that these modalities will ensure constructive negotiations to overcome the deadlock that has characterized the negotiations during the past months.

The Sudanese foreign ministry further pointed to its proposal for a four-way mediation led by the African Union with the participation of the EU, the UN and the US to reach a legally binding agreement on filling and operating the giant dam.

Egypt voiced its support for the Sudanese proposition, while Ethiopia sticks to the African Union-led mediation without rejecting explicitly the involvement of the international community in the process.

Ethiopia preparing for the second filling

Speaking at the 10th year founding anniversary of the GERD on Friday, Ethiopian President Sahle-Work Zewde said Ethiopia is making preparations to proceed with the second phase of the filling of the hydropower dam next July.

Zewde further said that "Ethiopia has been denied (by the riparian countries) the right to develop projects in the basin, which has great potential to its national wealth, due to domestic and external challenges," according to the official news agency.

(ST)