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

Talks between Sudan, Egypt and Ethiopia over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) on the Nile River were resumed on Friday under the African Union mediation, Sudan’s Irrigation and Water Resources Ministry announced.

“The talks between the three countries were resumed on Friday via video conference with mediators and monitors attending,” said the ministry in a statement.

The tripartite talks are expected to abide by the Declaration of Principles previously signed by the three countries as a basis for formulating all technical and legal items that lead to a final deal.

In March 2015, leaders of the three countries signed the declaration committed to reaching an agreement regarding the GERD through cooperation.

In June, the tripartite talks stalled over technical and legal differences. 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.

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