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Egypt voices unease over prolonged GERD talks

Cairo voiced its unease concerning the prolonged negotiations with Addis Ababa on the controversial Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), said Hamdi Louza, Deputy Minister for the African Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a statement on Thursday.

He held a meeting with the European ambassadors to Egypt on Thursday to update them on the latest developments between Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan over the dam, the statement said, clarifying that Egypt had submitted the two other countries “a fair proposal for the dam operation and filling its reservoir.

The problematic point between Egypt and Ethiopia is a technical one related to the period of filling the dam’s reservoir with water. Ethiopia asked for 5-6 years to fill the reservoir, while Egypt asked Ethiopia to abide by the Nile water quantity flow in filling the reservoir to “avoid any significant damage on the downstream countries,” former Head of the Central Department for Technical Cooperation at the Nile Sector of the Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation Mamdouh Mohamed Hassan told Egypt Today in previous remarks.

Egypt’s concern over its share was escalated after Ethiopia started building the dam on the Blue Nile in May 2011. A series of tripartite talks between the two countries along with Sudan has begun in 2014. One year later, the three countries reached an agreement, per which the downstream countries should not be affected by the construction of the dam.

Both President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi and Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed affirmed their keenness to resume the negotiations between Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan.

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