Tripartite technical, legal meetings over Ethiopian dam in 8th day of negotiations

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Fri, 10 Jul 2020 - 07:10 GMT

CAIRO – 10 July 2020: Negotiations between Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan on the filling and operation the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) continued on Friday for the eighth day in a row.

Technical and legal teams from the three countries held two separate meetings, in an attempt to reconcile viewpoints over the dam's points of disagreement on both tracks.

The African Union-sponsored negotiations are attended by observers from the U.S. and the EU.

During the technical committee's meeting, Egypt tabled some alternative formulations concerning dealing with periods of prolonged drought, as well as the rules for the annual operation and refilling of the giant hydroelectric dam.

On its part, the Ethiopian side proposed that points of contention to be considered later by the technical committee that will be forged after reaching an agreement. A proposal which Egypt categorically rejects.

Meanwhile, the legal committee's meeting ended up without reaching consensus on the points of contention.

On Thursday the spokesperson of the Egyptian Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation Mohammed El Sebaei said, that the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) negotiations between the three countries still have ‘essential points of contention’.

He added that negotiations will be resumed on Monday, noting that the contention points basically on the legal and technical sides.

In its sixth statement regarding the GERD talks, Ministry of Water explained that Egypt’s delegation reviewed the ‘points of contention’ from its point of view, especially in the technical and legal sides, and the failure to address measures to confront droughts and scarce years of water resource during both filling and operation phases.

 The points also included; rules for refilling after periods of extended drought, as well as the annual operating rules for the Dam, future projects on the Blue Nile and it’s legal regulating articles, the existing agreements between all three parties, and the conflict resolution mechanism-which Ethiopia refused to include in the agreement with its adherence to changing operating rules in a unilateral manner.

Sebaei said that, main while Ethiopia still insisting on its demands and position of the technical and legal parts of the agreement, ‘this reduces the chances of reaching an agreement,’ noting that these technical and legal parts considered as ‘the agreement’s backbone’ to Egypt.

In statements to Sada al-Balad private channel, Sebaei said that main points of disagreement are divided into two parts; which are the technical and legal sides; specifically reaching a mechanism to handle the drought periods.

 

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