The eleventh meeting of the tripartite committee on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) is currently taking place in Khartoum with the attendance of the Irrigation and Foreign ministers of Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia.
The aim of the meeting is to agree to a roadmap that adheres to the framework of the Declaration of Principles that was signed by the three presidents in Khartoum in March. Additionally, the meeting will provide provision for a study whose results will be binding for all parties.
The meeting is the second of its kind this month. The earlier meeting was held two weeks ago but did not reach any definitive agreement.
Hani Raslan, an expert on Sudan and the Nile Basin at Al-Ahram Centre for Political and Strategic Studies, told Daily News Egypt that he expects that the current meeting will not end in a resolution of the issues it addresses.
“Ethiopia continues its work on the dam amid Egyptian concerns. It is about halfway through the building process”, Raslan said.
Commenting on the statement given by the Egyptian Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation, Hossam El-Din Moghazi, that the diversion of the Blue Nile by Ethiopia was ‘normal’, Raslan dismissed it as palliative rhetoric intended to calm the Egyptian public.
He added that the diversion of the Nile by Ethiopia is a sign that Ethiopia will complete the construction of the dam regardless of the current meetings.
While Raslan finds the likelihood that the Egyptian State will turn to an alternative measure doubtful, he thinks resorting to the Peace and Security African committee might be a more effective strategy, adding that an independent study is not beneficial for Egypt as the country needs a “real solution”.
Others like Saeed Allawendy, Al-Ahram’s expert on political and international relations, think that negotiations are the solution for tackling Egypt’s water issues and are hopeful that the meeting might lead to an agreement.