Ethiopia Confirms U.S. Meeting with Egypt & Sudan over Renaissance Dam

ADDIS ABEBA – Ethiopian government has confirmed its participation in the United States-initiated trilateral meeting to be held in Washington.

The meeting, scheduled for Nov. 6, will discuss the issue of the dam, Ethiopia is building along the Nile river.

“It’s neither mediation nor a negotiation,” said Nebiat Getachew, spokesperson of ministry of foreign affairs during a press briefing on Thursday.

Nebiat said Ethiopia will use every opportunity to reflect its stand regarding the dam project, “and this meeting will be one of them”.

The spokesperson said there will not be any change regarding Ethiopia’s position towards Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).

Egypt has already confirmed that it has accepted a U.S. invitation to a meeting of foreign ministers over the project.

In recent weeks, Egypt has called for an external mediator on the issue, saying three-way talks have been exhausted.

Addis Ababa previously rejected the idea, accusing Egypt of trying to sidestep the process.

On Thursday, leaders of the two nations agreed, in a meeting held Russia’s Sochi city, to the immediate resumption of the work by a technical committee trying to agree on the operating terms of the Dam.

Nebiyu said the meeting has led for “the restart of technical committee discussion, which has been delayed for various reasons,” on filling and dam operations in the first half of November in Ethiopia.

Ethiopia is expected to start filling the reservoir of the dam, which is 68.5 percent complete, starting from next year.

Ethiopia, the source of the over 80 percent of the water for Blue Nile river which joins the White Nile in Khartoum and runs on to Egypt, says the dam will not disrupt the river’s flow and hopes the project will transform it into a power hub for the electricity-hungry region.

Sudan, which is also involved in the talks, hopes to buy electricity produced by the dam.

 

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