Sudan, Ethiopia reiterate commitment to AU-sponsored Nile dam talks

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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)

Sudan and Ethiopia on Tuesday voiced commitment to the negotiations sponsored by the African Union (AU) on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).

The two countries made the commitment in a joint communique issued after talks in Khartoum on Tuesday, chaired by Sudan’s Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok and his visiting Ethiopian counterpart Abiy Ahmed.

The two sides expressed commitment to exerting every possible effort to reach a successful end to the on going tripartite talks under the African Union in a manner that leads to a formula in which everyone is a winner and makes the GERD a tool for regional integration, the communique said.

It added that the two sides commended the progress achieved in addressing the outstanding issues relating to the joint border areas.

According to the communique, Ethiopia voiced support to Sudan’s legitimate demands in removing its name from the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism and relieving its debts.

The Ethiopian prime minister arrived in Khartoum on Tuesday, leading a high-level delegation including ministers of defense, foreign affairs, irrigation and energy.

The 4-billion-dollar GERD has been a source of tension in the Nile River basin since Ethiopia started constructing it in 2011.

Ethiopia expected the dam to produce over 6,000 megawatts of electricity and become Africa’s largest hydropower dam upon completion.

However, Egypt, a downstream Nile Basin country that relies on the river for its freshwater, is concerned that the dam might affect its 55.5-billion-cubic-meter annual share of the water resources.

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