Fourth Round of Talks on GERD set for December

ADDIS ABABA – The latest trilateral negotiations on the Grand Ethiopian Reinsurance Dam (GERD) in Cairo concluded on Tuesday evening.

Ethiopia, Egypt, and Sudan are holding a series of talks to reach a three-side agreement on guidelines and rules for the filling and annual operation of the dam.

Chief Negotiator Ambassador Seleshi Bekele led the Ethiopian delegation in the third round of negotiations in Cairo while Water and Irrigation Ministers of Egypt and Sudan, Hani Sewilam and Dawelbeit Abdelrahman, led their respective sides.

The delegations of the three countries were expected to sort out “unresolved technical and legal differences” during the talks on Monday and Tuesday.

They conducted “intensive negotiations to find areas of convergence to conclude agreement,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

The ministry did not disclose if any progress was made. However, the negotiation will continue in Addis Ababa where they will hold the next meeting in December 2023, according to Chief Negotiator Seleshi.

“Ethiopia remains committed to reaching a win-win outcome based on the cardinal principle of equitable and reasonable utilization of the Nile River,” Seleshi said.

Ethiopia’s €3.48-billion hydropower dam project on Abay River, the main tributary of the River Nile, has been a source of diplomatic standoff among three nations ever since its launch in 2011.

Their latest attempt to agree on the Dam operations resumed in Cairo months ago, following a meeting between Ethiopia and Egypt leaders in July.