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 on Saturday said it hopes that the upcoming round of talks on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) will be “decisive” and “with specific timetable” to address important issues.

“Sudan is looking forward to a decisive negotiating round with specific timetable and clear agenda to address the outstanding issues and adhere to them without proposing new issues outside the framework of the negotiation relating to filling and operation of the GERD and future projects,” said Sudan’s Irrigation and water resources ministry in a statement.

The ministry further described the statement issued on Friday by the African Union (AU) on the recent mini-African summit on the GERD as “balanced” and consistent with what was proposed by Sudan’s Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok with regard to reaching a deal that is fair and legally binding to preserve the interests of all parties.

The AU has urged for the necessity of reaching a fair and binding agreement on filling and operation of the GERD within a comprehensive deal that includes future projects.

It also urged all parties to refrain from adopting any unilateral measures that could hinder the negotiating process.

Sudan, Egypt and Ethiopia are expected to resume talks on the outstanding technical and legal points related to the filling and operation of the GERD under the patronage of the AU, which is currently chaired by South Africa.

A mini-African summit was convened on July 21 through video link, where the parties agreed to continue talks to narrow viewpoints.

Ethiopia, which started building the 4-billion-dollar GERD in 2011, expects to produce over 6,000 megawatts of electricity to push the development in the country forward.

Meanwhile, 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. Enditem

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