Prime Minister Ibrahim Mehleb received Saturday a report from Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation Hossam Moghazi on the latest National Tripartite Commission meeting in Sudan over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).
The meeting, which was held from 22-24 July in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, was headed by the Egyptian, Sudanese and Ethiopian water ministers. The ministers discussed contractual issues of the counselling offices entitled to produce studies on the impact of the GERD construction, according to a statement from the cabinet.
The studies were recommended by the International Commission of Experts in its final report in 2013.
Moghazi informed Mehleb that the meeting was concluded in agreement on all the contractual issues. The ministers agreed to receive updated presentations from one of the counselling offices, based in France, on 12 August, and will hold the eighth meeting of the commission in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, from 20-21 August. This latter meeting will probably witness the signing of contracts with the French office.
The GERD, which is poised to be Africa’s largest hydropower dam, is now 60% complete, but has strained relations between Ethiopia and Egypt since the beginning of its construction in 2011.
Relations have improved under President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, who has made efforts to restore ties with the Nile basin country, as well as other African countries.
In March, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, and Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir signed a “good will” agreement over the dam.
Al-Sisi said: “The GERD represents a development project for the Ethiopians, but for Egyptians it represents a constant source of worry.”
He added that “through dialogue, we were able to reach an agreement whereby the interests of all parties are realised”.