Egypt to withdraw from latest dam talks for internal consultations: statement

(Reuters) – Egypt said on Tuesday that it has decided to withdraw from the latest round of tripartite negotiations with Ethiopia over its multi-billion dollar dam on the Blue Nile for internal consultations after Addis Ababa proposed new draft of filling guidelines.

The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, which is being built about 15 km (9 miles) from the Ethiopian border with Sudan on the Blue Nile, has become a major sticking point between the three countries. Egypt fears the $4 billion project could lead to water shortages upstream, while Sudan is concerned about the dam’s safety.

The Blue Nile is a tributary of the Nile river, from which Egypt’s 100 million people get 90% of their fresh water.

Cairo said Addis presented a proposal on Tuesday that excluded “operating guidelines” as well as “a legal mechanism to settle disputes.”

Sudan’s irrigation ministry said the latest Ethiopian position presented in talks on Tuesday raised new fears over the track the negotiations had been on.

“[We] stress the seriousness of the risks that the dam represents for Sudan and its people, including environmental and social risks, and for the safety of millions of residents along the banks of the Blue Nile… which reinforces the need to reach a comprehensive agreement covering both filling and operation,” the Sudanese irrigation ministry said.

Ethiopia’s Irrigation Minister Seleshi Bekele had expressed optimism over the talks and tweeted earlier on Tuesday saying: “Ethiopia would like to sign the first filling agreement at the soonest and also continue negotiation to finalize a comprehensive agreement in subsequent periods.”

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed had said earlier in July that his country had already achieved its first-year target for filling the reservoir, thanks to a heavy rainy season.


(Reporting by Momen Saeed Atallah in Cairo and Khalid Abdelaziz in Khartoum; Writing by Nadine Awadalla; Editing by Aidan Lewis and Marguerita Choy)

1 Comment

  1. False!!! This is perfect fake news. Egypt did not just withdraw from the ‘negotiation’ in protest but it and Sudan requested to delay the dialogue until August 10. Didn’t Egypt declare less than two weeks ago that the recent filling of the dam does not affect her whatsoever? This is just another example of yellow journalism. This and other aging news outlets are salivating for a new major war to break out, a war between Egypt and Ethiopia, so they can send reporters to the frontlines and gain attention. In this era of social networking such traditional news waterholes are becoming more and more irrelevant. How many of us go to websites of this and other traditional sources to get news on daily basis? Very, very few, right? Fake news!!!!!

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