Egypt reiterates importance of studying GERD plan

Yousef Saba
2 Min Read
The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam site on the Blue Nile river (Photo Public Domain)

Egypt stressed the importance of beginning studies on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) by international experts, as agreed by the two countries and Sudan in April.

The three countries met for the seventh round of meetings for the GERD negotiations, which have been ongoing since the signing of an agreement in March.

The agreement set a roadmap and terms for negotiations to cooperate on the dam, and stipulated that technical studies would be conducted on its effect on downstream countries Sudan and Egypt.

Egyptian Minister of Irrigation Hossam Moghazi reiterated, in his speech, the importance of the time factor in conducting the studies on the dam.

“The most important issues agreed on in the roadmap are the outcomes of the studies to be prepared by the National Tripartite Commission that have been recommended in the final report of the International Commission of Experts,” he said.

The seventh round of the negotiations between the three countries’ water ministers is to last for three days, after the sixth round was held in Cairo last month.

The ministers are set to discuss unresolved technicalities following the meeting of water experts during the sixth round.

The GERD has been a major concern for Egypt, fearing it could decrease its water share of the Nile and harm its water security.

Egyptian-Ethiopian relations soured significantly under ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi. A meeting between him and several state and public figures discussing the GERD was aired, in which several offensive comments were made against Ethiopia. At one point, someone in the meeting suggested bombing the country.

Relations have improved under President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, who has made efforts to restore ties with the Nile basin country, as well as other African countries.

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Yousef Saba is an aspiring multimedia journalist. He is studying Broadcast Journalism and International Politics at The Pennsylvania State University.