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Egypt, Ethiopia, Sudan to resume Nile dam talks today
Published in Amwal Al Ghad on 01 - 11 - 2020

Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan are set to resume on Sunday negotiations on the filling and operations of the disputed Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD). This came after Khartoum called for a new one-week round of talks.
The negotiations will be held between the irrigation ministries of the three countries under the African Union (AU) sponsorship, an official statement released by the Sudanese irrigation ministry showed on Saturday.
Egypt, which depends heavily on its crucial water supplies from the River Nile, pulled out of negotiations in late August after the three countries were unable to reach a consensus on the legal and technical points of contention. The failure took place after Ethiopia proposed a package of non-binding guidelines for the filling and operation of its mega dam.
Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan agreed last Tuesday that Khartoum would host the one-week-long of talks to set a timeframe and framework for the renewed negotiations, and outcomes to be reached in a different manner to previous rounds.
Tuesday's meeting was the first since the seven-week hiatus over the deal. It was pushed by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa – the current chair of the AU.
Sudan has expressed its rejection during the meeting of "the same negotiations approach that have led to a deadlock in the previous rounds," said Saleh Hamad, head of Sudan's negotiations team. It has demanded setting bigger and more effective roles by experts and observers from the United States, the European Union, and AU, to converge viewpoints for a deal between the three countries.
The meeting came after U.S. President Donald Trump blamed squarely on Ethiopia for the failure of the negotiations and described Cairo's concerns in the dispute are legitimate.
Trump told Sudanese prime minister Abdalla Hamdok in a phone call that he had brokered a deal to resolve the crisis but that Ethiopia had violated the pact, pushing him to suspend aid the country.
The U.S. president even said that Egypt could "blow up that dam", sparking anger in Ethiopia, which in return summoned U.S. Ambassador to Addis Ababa Mike Raynor. Ethiopia described Trump's comments an "incitement of war."
Built over 15 kilometres from the Ethiopian border with Sudan, GERD has been a source of contention between the three countries since its construction began in 2010.
Despite not reaching a binding agreement with its downstream neighbours, the dam started its first filing this summer.

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