Irrigation Ministers of Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia will hold a two-day meeting in Khartoum to continue negotiations over the operation and filling of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), according to media reports.
On Monday, technical committees from the three countries started talks on each other’s proposals, and the meetings will continue until Thursday.
The filling and operating period of the GERD is the main issue between the three parties. Egypt and Ethiopia have both disagreed many times over the filling period of the GERD, where Ethiopia believes that three years is a suitable time, while Egypt has been requesting for a seven-year filling period.
Last week, a meeting between Foreign Ministers of Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan was held in Cairo, but the talks failed to reach any satisfactory solution for the issue.
On the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) held in New York, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi said the GERD will not operate by a fait accompli since Egypt has no source of water except the Nile River, pointing out that 95% of Egypt’s area is desert and any disruption to the water share has negative impacts.
Egypt and Ethiopia recently exchanged a rare verbal escalation during the GERD negotiations, for which Cairo demanded to end the eight-year negotiations without results. Addis Ababa considered the Egyptian proposals as violations to its sovereignty and thus rejected them.