US woos Egypt, Ethiopia, Sudan to sign Nile dam deal, promises assistance

The Sudanese Foreign Ministry announced in the statement that the three countries’ delegations will return to Washington, in a period to be determined later.
WASHINGTON, USA – APRIL 10: (—-EDITORIAL USE ONLY – MANDATORY CREDIT – “PRESIDENCY OF EGYPT / HANDOUT” – NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS – DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS—-) Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi (L) meets U.S. President Donald Trump (R) at White House during his official visit in Washington DC, United States on April 10, 2019. Presidency of Egypt / Handout / Anadolu Agency

U.S. President Donald Trump has promised to provide technical assistance for Sudan, Egypt and Ethiopia if they reached a deal regarding the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), a statement by Sudan’s Foreign Ministry on Wednesday said.

Trump urged all parties to speed up reaching a comprehensive agreement on the GERD during his meeting with delegations of the three countries after which he promised to organize a signing ceremony for the agreement in Washington, the statement said.

The Sudanese Foreign Ministry announced in the statement that the three countries’ delegations will return to Washington, in a period to be determined later, to take part in a final round of talks to finalize the comprehensive agreement.

Washington is hosting talks between Sudan, Egypt and Ethiopia on the GERD under the patronage of the U.S. Secretary of Treasury and presence of the World Bank president, a Xinxua news agency report said.

The difference between Egypt and Ethiopia focuses on the duration of filling and operation of the GERD.

Egypt demands that the filling period be 10 years considering the drought years, while Ethiopia adheres to a period between four and seven years.

In early August 2019, Egypt proposed that, to avoid drought, Ethiopia must not begin filling the dam without Egypt’s consent, which was rejected by Ethiopia.

In March 2015, leaders of Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia signed a declaration of principles committed to reaching an agreement regarding the GERD through cooperation. But differences are still standing despite the deal.

Ethiopia started building the GERD in 2011, while Egypt, a downstream Nile Basin country that relies on the river for its fresh water, is concerned that the dam might affect its 55.5-billion-cubic-meter annual share of the water resources of the river.

The GERD, extending on an area of 1,800 square km, is scheduled to be completed in three years at a cost of 4.7 billion U.S. dollars.


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