Renaissance Dam Talks Ended without Agreement

ADDIS ABABA – Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt water ministers meeting on the filling and operation of Grand Ethiopia Renaissance Dam (GERD) ended without agreement.

Addis Ababa has been hosting the final round of the series of meetings approved by the three countries in Washington DC last November since Wednesday.

The meeting begins on a positive note with all the water ministers of the three nations saying they are eager to conclude the agreement.

But Egypt came up with a new proposal that suggests the dam to be filled within 12-21 year period.

“Egypt’s new proposal is unacceptable in any measurement,” Dr. Seleshi Bekele, Ethiopia’s Minister of Water, Irrigation and Energy, told journalists after the meeting.

The technical negotiation ended “without cementing the deal”, the minister said.

“We made clarification on all technical issues in the four rounds and we don’t expect further technical discussion,” he said. “We have clear terms on how to fill and manage drought during filling and operation”.

The three countries will now meet in Washington on January 15, 2020, to finalize their agreement.

If an agreement is not reached by January 15, they will invoke article 10 of the 2015 Declaration of Principles that seeks mediator’s involvement in case of disagreement.