A general view of the Blue Nile river as it passes through the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), near Guba in Ethiopia, on December 26, 2019. - The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, a 145-metre-high, 1.8-kilometre-long concrete colossus is set to become the largest hydropower plant in Africa. (AFP)

Differences remained during the fresh round of talks between Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia regarding the rules of filling and operating the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) on the Nile River, the Egyptian water ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.

While Ethiopia sticks to its “inflexible” positions, Egypt showed flexibility during the resumed tripartite talks, sponsored by the African Union and other states’ representatives and observers, for the fifth consecutive day, said Egyptian Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation.

The remarks came after two parallel meetings of the legal and technical teams of the three countries were held on Tuesday.

“Discussions on the legal course resulted in continued differences over the legal points of the agreement,” said the Egyptian ministry.

Over the past few years, tripartite talks on the rules of filling and operating Ethiopia’s grand hydropower dam have been fruitless, including those hosted by Washington, amid Egyptian concerns that the GERD would affect Egypt’s 55.5-billion-cubic-meter annual share of Nile water.

Ethiopia has recently said that it would soon start filling the reservoir, while Egypt has repeatedly warned against any unilateral action without a prior tripartite agreement.

The 4-billion-dollar GERD is expected to produce over 6,000 megawatts of electricity and become Africa’s largest hydropower dam upon completion.

Filling the reservoir, whose total capacity is 74 billion cubic meters, may take several years. Egypt seeks to prolong the period of filling process to avoid the possible impacts of water shortage, which is a main point of their talks. Enditem

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