The Foreign and Irrigation Ministers representing Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia will meet, on Tuesday, to discuss the resumption of negotiations on the disputed Ethiopian dam, the Sudan News Agency reported on Monday.
The talks are set to take place under the auspices of the African Union (AU), which has been heavily involved in previous negotiations between the three countries.
The meeting will review ways of resuming the tripartite negotiations on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), at the invitation of South Africa, the current AU chair.
The AU decided that GERD negotiations would resume, also under its auspices, following a seven-week break, according to South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa, on Monday.
He said that the move comes after extensive consultations with the heads of states taking part in the negotiations.
Ramaphosa welcomed the commitment by the respective parties to pursue negotiations guided by the spirit of cooperation, goodwill, and compromise with a view to reaching a mutually acceptable agreement.
In this regard, Ramaphosa has reassured the three negotiating parties of the AU’s unremitting support and cooperation. He also expressed his utmost confidence that the parties will reach agreement on the remaining issues, including those related to the technical and legal aspects of the negotiations.
Ramaphosa said, “Without any doubt, the successful conclusion of the GERD negotiations will enhance and accelerate regional integration, while boosting cooperation and sustainable development in the region, for the benefit of Africa as a whole.”
The Egyptian Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation had previously announced that the GERD negotiations had been suspended upon Sudan’s request, due to the failure to solve disagreement points between the three countries.
Egypt and Sudan have been calling for a legal binding agreement that includes safety rules for the Ethiopian dam, as well as its filling and operation rules and a dispute settlement mechanism.
Both Egypt and Sudan also have fears over the dam’s security and safety, due to its location in an active geological region which puts it at risk of earthquakes or mass floods.
Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi has previously said, “As Egypt appreciates Ethiopia’s right to development, Ethiopia must understand that the River Nile is Egypt’s lifeline.”