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Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan to discuss Renaissance dame filing

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)
June 8, 2020 (KHARTOUM) - Irrigations ministers of Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan will hold a teleconference on Tuesday for further talks on the filling of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GRED).

Speaking to Sudan Tribune, Yasir Abbas Sudanese Irrigation Minister said the meeting is a result of a series of bilateral consultations by Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok with his Ethiopian and Egyptian counterparts to resume tripartite negotiations on the pending issues.

"The meeting, which will be held at the initiative of Sudan, will include, in addition to the three irrigation ministers, observers from the United States of America, the European Union and South Africa," he said.

The virtual meeting comes on the backdrop of the recent row over the filling of the GERD reservoir. Sudan and Egypt point to the need to reach an agreement on this process before its launch while Ethiopia says resolved to start the process next July in any case.

"We hope this meeting be constructive and a continuation of the cooperation established between the riparian countries since a long time ago," he said before to add "Much has been accomplished and little remains to be done".

Last January, the ministers of the three countries met in Washington and agreed to fill the GERD in stages during the wet season of every year starting from July 2020. Also, they agreed to take into account the impact on downstream reservoirs of other dams on the Blue Nile.

The ministers had to meet two weeks later by the end of January to complete technical and legal talks of the filling process and to finalize an agreement but the Ethiopian delegation skipped the meeting saying they have to conduct more consultations.