Tripartite Talks over Ethiopia’s Renaissance Dam Resumes

ADDIS ABEBA – Ministry of foreign affairs says Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan resumed talks over a $4 billion dam Addis Ababa is building on the Nile which had been suspended for over a year.

Minister of Water, Irrigation and Energy, Seleshi Bekele, met with his Egyptian and Sudanese counterpart on Sunday to resume the negotiations in Cairo.

At the opening of the meeting on Sunday, Seleshi said the water of the Nile as the main water resource of Ethiopia is a matter of survival for the country.

The minister also said his country will continue to follow a cooperative approach that ensures its right and protects the interest of neighboring populations.

Sunday’s meeting came “after a halt of about a year and three months, a period exceeding what was planned”, according to Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry.

The long-running dispute between the trio centers on the filling and operation of what will be Africa’s largest hydroelectric dam.

Egypt fears the dam will restrict Nile River flows, the economic lifeblood of all three countries, from Ethiopia’s highlands, through the deserts of Sudan, to Egyptian fields and reservoirs.

Ethiopia, however, insists on its principle to develop its water resource in a manner that does not negatively affect anyone.

The three officials hoped the negotiations, which also continue today, would lead to an agreement on filing and operation of the soon-to-be-completed dam.

Sudan’s Irrigation Minister, Yasir Mohammed Abbas, stated, compared to other international cooperation on matters of transboundary waters, the trilateral cooperation between the three nations has scored a remarkable achievement in just a short period of time.

The Minister expressed his country’s commitment to do its part for the continuation of the effective trilateral dialogue that is based on scientific considerations and serves the interest of the three countries.

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