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Sudan boycotts GERD talks reiterates call for new method of negotiation

November 21, 2020 (KHARTOUM) - Sudan declined to take part in a meeting on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) on Saturday, reiterating its demand for a new negotiation mechanism, according to a statement released in Khartoum.

The planned Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam project (AP)On Saturday, Ethiopia and Egypt held a virtual meeting hosted by the Ethiopian water ministry with the participation of South Africa, in its capacity as Chair of the African Union, the European Union and the United States.

"In a letter sent to Seleshi Bekele, Minister of Water Resources of Ethiopia, Yasir Abbas, Minister of Irrigation and Water Resources, reaffirmed Sudan’s position calling for giving a greater role to the African Union experts to facilitate negotiations and bring the gaps between the three parties," said a statement released by the Sudanese irrigation ministry.

Abbas also stressed that the method of negotiation used during the past rounds has proven to be productive.

Last Thursday, South Africa’s Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor underlined the failure of the parties to agree on the mediation role and called to resume direct talks as it was the case before.

Sudanese officials openly blamed Pandor of neglecting their demand to return to the African Union Bureau to endorse the role of experts.

However, the statement renewed Khartoum’s adherence to the negotiation process under the auspices of the African Union to reach a legally binding agreement on the filling of the giant Ethiopian dam.

(ST)