Sudan, Egypt and Ethiopia on Sunday recorded a major progress on issues regarding the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), Sudanese Irrigation and Water Resources Minister, Yasir Abbas announced.
“The meetings witnessed great exchange of valuable and positive information, resulting in further rapprochement instances of the three countries,” said Abbas at a press conference in Khartoum after the tripartite ministerial meetings.
Abbas said “the three countries have presented proposals on the first filling and the annual operation of the dam,” a Xinxua news agency report quoted him.
The differences will be discussed in the fourth meeting slated for January in Addis Ababa, the minister noted.
Khartoum had on Saturday and Sunday hosted a meeting of the irrigation ministers of Sudan, Ethiopia and Egypt to discuss issues regarding the GERD. It is the third meeting held at the ministerial level as well as the level of the joint technical committees to reach agreement on the issue of filling and operating the GERD before Jan. 15, 2020.
Representatives of the U.S. Treasury and the World Bank also attended the meeting.
In March 2015, leaders of Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia signed the Declaration of Principles committed to reaching an agreement regarding the GERD through cooperation.
Ethiopia started building the GERD in 2011, while Egypt, a downstream Nile Basin country that relies on the river for its freshwater, 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.