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

Sudan, Egypt and Ethiopia have agreed to resume talks over the controversial Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) on Aug. 18.

A video meeting, called for by South Africa, was held on Sunday with participation of foreign ministers of Sudan, Egypt and Ethiopia.”After prolonged discussions, the participants in the meeting decided to resume the talks on Aug.

18 and work to unify the texts of the draft agreements presented by the three countries,” Sudan’s Irrigation and Water Resources Ministry said in a statement on Sunday.

Sudan reiterated commitment to returning to the talks with the spirit of African solidarity and on bases of the previously agreed agenda and the principles of the international law related to equitable use of water resources without causing harm to others, according to the statement.

Sudan further stressed that reaching a comprehensive deal on filling and operation of the GERD and the future projects would be an additional evidence on enhancing regional cooperation and a confirmation to the principle of searching for African solutions to the African issues.

Sudan, Egypt and Ethiopia have been negotiating under the African Union over technical and legal issues related to the filling and operation of the GERD. Ethiopia, which started building the GERD in 2011, expects to produce over 6,000 megawatts of electricity from the project to push the country’s development forward.

Meanwhile, Egypt and Sudan, downstream Nile Basin countries that rely on the river for its fresh water, are concerned that the dam might affect their water resources.

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