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Egypt won't accept any formulations that disregard its concerns over Ethiopia's Dam: Irrigation ministry
Published in Ahram Online on 09 - 07 - 2020

Egypt has said on Wednesday evening it would not accept any incomplete deals over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) that would disregard Egyptian concerns or fail to resolve major differences.
"Cairo will not accept any incomplete formulations [in a deal] that would diregard Egyptian concerns or postpone contentious issues in the dispute over the Renaissance Dam's," the country's negotiations team has told the observers and experts team participating in the ongoing online African Union mediated talks on Wednesday.
Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia have agreed last week to resume talks over the hydropower project in response to a call from South Africa president, the current AU chairperson.
Observers representing the EU, the US, the AU Commission, South Africa and the AU's legal and technical and legal experts are attending the online talks with the aim of reach a compromise between Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia over the decade-long row.
Each country on Wednesday held bilateral separate conventions with the observers' team as part of the sixth day of the AU-brokered initiative to display their visions on the outstanding points.
Observers have put forward some observations and inquiries to the three sides with the aim of bringing diverging points of views closer.
The Egyptian negotiators voiced their concerns about the failure to address what happens in the filing and operation of the GERD in periods of drought, including prolonged drought periods, and years with scarce water inputs.
The outstanding points also involved the rules needed for re-filling process following the prolonged drought periods and the rule of the annual operation of the GERD, the statement added.
The Egyptian concerns extended to future projects planned on the Blue Nile and the legal ways to cope with them.
Egypt also demanded a binding mechanism to settle disputes, which Addis Ababa has refused to be included in a deal with its adherence to be in sole control of the dam and unilaterally change the operation rules as it sees fit.
The aforementioned points represent the backbone of the deal's technical and legal parts for Egypt, read the statement.
Cairo stressed that it has presented many alternatives; nevertheless, they have been rejected by the Ethiopian side.
Egypt's irrigation ministry reiterated that Ethiopia's adherence to its “rigid” stances concerning the technical aspects of the controversial mega-dam would narrow the chances of reaching a consensus.
The talks are scheduled to resume on Thursday before submitting the final report to the African Union.
The AU-brokered talks, which set off last Friday, are due to end on Friday or Saturday, according to Egypt's irrigation ministry spokesman Mohamed El-Sebaei.
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