Egypt, Ethiopia, Sudan unveil plans to discuss dam dispute

Egypt, Ethiopia, Sudan unveil plans to discuss dam dispute

The foreign ministers of Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan will meet in Washington on January 13 to attempt to resolve a dispute over a major dam project on the Blue Nile in Ethiopia, according to a joint statement issued by the US Treasury Department.

The foreign ministers and water ministers of the three African countries reportedly met with the US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and World Bank President David Malpass on Monday 15 June to negotiate over the $4 billion Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam. 

This was the second meeting in Washington since early November.

Egyptian authorities are concerned that the filling of the dam reservoir on the Blue Nile tributary could restrict the already scarce supplies of water from the Nile, on which the country is heavily dependent. 

Sudan is also downriver from the project.

Ethiopia claims that the hydroelectric dam, which is expected to be Africa’s largest dam, is crucial to the country’s economic development.

“The Ministers of Foreign Affairs look forward to reconvening in Washington, D.C. on January 13, 2020 to review the results of the upcoming technical meetings in Khartoum and Addis Ababa with the goal of finalising an agreement,” the statement said.

It adds saying that the parties reached an agreement on the technical meetings and will now try to develop rules and guidelines for the filling and operation of the dam, the definition of drought conditions, and drought mitigation measures.

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