Egypt’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry headed to Khartoum on Wednesday to attend the ninth meeting held to continue discussions over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) with Ethiopian and Sudanese officials.
Foreign and water ministers and intelligence officials from the three countries will attend the meeting, which come more than two months after a tripartite summit held in late January.
The meeting was scheduled to be held in February, as decided during the summit, but was further postponed after the resignation of Hailemariam Desalegn as Ethiopian prime minister.
During the meeting, the officials are scheduled to find a way to solve the issue of stalled technical studies that will test the impact of the dam on downstream countries, particularly Egypt and Sudan.
In 2017, delegations from the three countries failed to reach a consensus on an initial technical report from French firm on the dam. The firm is tasked with fully assessing the environmental and economic impact of the dam on downstream countries.
Sudanese Minister of Irrigation Moataz Moussa said that the meeting came to implement the directives of the leaders of the three countries, which included working as one country to find unconventional solutions to fill and operate the dam, as well as pushing ahead with the plan to create an infrastructure fund, expected to be launched between the three countries.
Moussa also said that the participation of foreign ministers and heads of security agencies from the three countries represents a broader partnership in decision-making and a strong push for “the technical path of the GERD issue.”
The GERD, formerly known as the Millennium Dam, is under construction in the Benishangul-Gumuz region of Ethiopia on the Blue Nile River.
Construction of the dam started in April 2011. However, Egypt has expressed concerns that the construction of the dam could negatively affect its historic Nile water share of 55bn cubic metres, which it has had access to since a 1959 agreement between Egypt and Sudan.