Mini-African summit on Nile dam dispute to continue talks – Yasir Abbas

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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)
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)
Spining

Sudan’s Irrigation and Water Resources Minister Yasir Abbas said on Tuesday that the mini-African summit on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) dispute agreed to continue the talks to narrow the differences.

“The participants in the mini-African summit stressed on African solutions for the African problems and continuation of the negotiations in the coming period to narrow the viewpoints,” Abbas said at a press conference in Khartoum.

He said that during the summit, Sudan’s Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok explained Sudan’s objection to the unilateral measures regarding the GERD.

Abbas further announced a Sudanese proposal to overcome one of the differences related to Ethiopia’s rights in establishing future projects.

“The Sudanese proposal stipulates that Ethiopia has the right to establish future projects if consistent with the international law, and on condition of consent of the downstream countries (Egypt and Sudan),” he noted.

A mini-African summit was convened on Tuesday through video link with participation of the Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi, Sudan’s Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and President of South Africa Cyril Ramaphosa, whose country chairs the current session of the African Union.

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.

The GERD is scheduled to be completed in three years at a cost of 4.7 billion U.S. dollars. Enditem

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