Even before the impact studies have been started, officials say 50 percent of the dam's construction has been completed [Reuters]

Egypt looks forward to taking part in the next round of trilateral talks with Ethiopia and Sudan on an Ethiopian dam built on their shared Nile River, said the Egyptian Foreign Ministry on Thursday.

The ministry’s statement came after the foreign and water ministers of the three countries concluded a virtual meeting. Egypt wants to reach “a binding legal agreement” on how to operate the Ethiopian giant dam as soon as possible, the ministry said.

It also highlighted the necessity of reaching “a fair and balanced agreement that achieves the common interests of the three countries and preserves their water rights.”

During the last round of trilateral talks held earlier this month, Egypt voiced its discontent as no progress was made in the negotiations.

Ethiopia started building the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) in 2011, which prompted concerns from downstream countries like Sudan and Egypt.

Over the past few years, the tripartite talks on the rules of filling and operating the GERD, including those recently brokered by the United States and the African Union, have been fruitless.

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