Ethiopia is interested in resuming talks with Egypt and Sudan over the disputed points on the filling and operation of its dam on the Blue Nile, according to Sileshi Bekele, Ethiopia’s ambassador to the United States.
Bekele, who was Ethiopia’s Minister of Water, Irrigation and Energy, made his statements during a meeting with US special envoy to the Horn of Africa, Mike Hammer.
“Ethiopia is interested in resuming the African Union-led trilateral negotiation over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), Bekele said on Friday, according to a statement by Ethiopia’s foreign ministry.
Earlier on Friday, the Ethiopian Foreign Ministry’s spokesperson Dina Mufti told reporters the third filling of the dam is on schedule this year. “We have been saying since the start of the dam’s construction that tripartite talks will continue,” he added.
Mufti also mentioned that his country is keen to reach a political solution to its border dispute with Sudan “but, a third party is intervening” to hinder any consensus between Khartoum and Addis Ababa.
In February, Ethiopia began producing electricity from one unit of the dam.
Meanwhile, Ethiopia continues construction operations in the GERD while the date of the third filling of the dam, scheduled for early July, is approaching, without paying attention to the Egyptian-Sudanese demands regarding reaching a comprehensive and binding legal agreement regarding the rules of filling and operation.
Ethiopia is currently hoping to raise the level of the middle corridor by 20 metres to reach the target level of 595 metres, which is equivalent to a storage capacity of 13.5 billion cbm, not 18.5 billion cbm according to the engineering table by the Italian executing firm.
Therefore, the third filling will range from 3 to 5.5 billion cbm. The filling is still rejected by Egypt and Sudan in any quantity.
Recent satellite images taken on 24 May 2022 show the continuation of water flowing through one of the drain holes and turbine number 10, and concrete is being thrown into the middle corridor.