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Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia resume GERD negotiations

Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia are set to resume on Sunday African Union-led negotiations over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), following a one-month hiatus.

The meeting was suspended in early November after Sudan demanded a change in the negotiation methodology.

Egypt’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry, and the Minister of Irrigation, Mohamed Abdel Atti, will participate in the meeting.

The three countries will discuss the Sudanese proposal to grant a greater role to the African Union (AU) in reaching a binding legal agreement. The meeting will review a draft memorandum prepared by the AU.

The European Union (EU), an observer of the GERD negotiations, welcomed in an official statement the renewal of the talks, stating that it provides “an important opportunity to advance towards an agreement on the rules for filling the GERD and to reach a solution for the disagreements between the three countries over the filling and operating rules of the Ethiopian dam.”

The EU’s foreign and security policy representative Josep Borrell said that reaching an agreement on GERD will allow the countries  to achieve stability in the Nile Basin, stressing that now is not the time to raise tensions.

Borrell added that the EU fully supports the efforts of South Africa in encouraging the three countries to reach a solution, adding that “the EU is looking forward to the imminent resumption and successful conclusion of the GERD talks.”

Sources responsible for the Nile water file said that the meetings will discuss Sudanese demands not to start the second phase of filling the GERD without reaching an agreement with Egypt and Sudan, indicating that the current round aims to reach a binding and legal agreement for filling and operating GERD, provided that it does not negatively affect the flows of the Blue Nile water to Sudan and Egypt.

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