Last round of meetings mediated by the US kicked off in Washington on Monday, in attendance of foreign ministers of Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia to resolve the dispute over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).
The three countries are supposed to solve disputes during this round, in accordance to a previous target to resolve their disagreements over the filling and operation of the dam by 15 January.
The two-day meeting comes one day before Ethiopian President Abiy Ahmed requested South Africa to interfere as meditator to solve the division between Egypt and Ethiopia.
Egypt’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry headed to Washington DC on Saturday to attend the meetings. The four rounds that took place in Addis Ababa on 8-9 January ended without reaching any agreement between the parties.
Egypt said on Friday that all previous negotiations failed due to the “intransigence of Ethiopia in its intention to impose and extend control of the Blue Nile and the filling and operations of the dam.”
An international mediator will be appointed to help resolve the issue in case the three sides do not reach any agreement by 15 January, according to the deal the countries reached in Washington
on 6 November.
Throughout the previous four rounds, Egypt and Ethiopia failed to reach an agreement on the volume of water released during drought. Egypt claims it needs 40bn cubic metres of Nile water to reach its territory, but Ethiopia proposed to release up to 35bn cubic metres.
Cairo fears that the construction of the GERD will lead to a decline in the flow of water in the Blue Nile, which Egypt depends on for 90% of its water.